Hildegard Knef was one of the intenationally best-known German postwar actresses. In 1963 she started a second and successful career as a musical singer, partly with texts written by herself. her hallmark was her hoarse and breathy voice. Her autobiography "Der geschenkte Gaul", edited in 1970, became an international bestseller and was also acknowledged as a piece of literature.
In 1976 Knef designed the artist plate »Nr. 9 "Einem geschenkten Gaul blickt man nicht hinter die Kiemen"« (5,000 pieces) for the Rosenthal limited art edition.