Max Beckmann  (German, 1884-1950) 

Max Beckmann (German, 1884–1950) was an Expressionist painter, though he shunned both the movement and the term. He worked primarily with oil on canvas, but he also dabbled in sculpture, printmaking, and drawing. He was born into a middle class family in Leipzig, Saxony, and taught himself to paint, imitating the masters such as Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906), Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890), Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606–1669), and Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640). His works would later be heavily influenced both by these painters and by his stint as a medic during World War I.

Beckmann enjoyed his greatest success as a painter during the Weimar Republic. He taught a master class in art at Städelschule Academy of Fine Art in Frankfurt in 1925, and he received the Gold Medal of the City of Düsseldorf and the Honorary Empire prize for German Art in 1927. However, Hitler's rise to power and his banning of Modern Art was disastrous for Beckmann; Hitler removed him from his teaching position at the Art School in Frankfurt, and Beckmann was forced to flee from Germany to Amsterdam. Unsuccessful in his attempts to attain a visa for passage to the United States, he languished in poverty and suffered his first of several heart attacks. However, he continued to paint, creating some of his most famous pieces, including Lido, Self Portrait, and Paris Society. The Bark was purchased by the National Gallery of Berlin just prior to Hitler's taking power. Beckmann is also well-known for a series of self-portraits created during his lifetime, which rivaled Picasso's in number. After the war, Beckmann relocated to the United States where he taught at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

His work has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute in Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and a host of other galleries in Madrid, Zurich, Rome, and St. Louis, where the largest display of his work in the world can be found. In 1948, Beckmann published "Letters to a Woman Painter," and Stephan Reimertz, a French novelist and historian of art, published Beckmann's biography in 2003. Beckmann died in Manhattan in 1950 of an apparent heart attack.

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Max Beckmann, Self-portrait


Max Beckmann

Alice Adam Ltd.
Max Beckmann, Morning XI


Max Beckmann
Morning XI

Austin Art Projects
Max Beckmann, Selbstbildnis mit Katze und Lampe


Max Beckmann
Selbstbildnis mit Katze und Lampe

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Max Beckmann, Large Self-Portrait


Max Beckmann
Large Self-Portrait

Galerie St. Etienne
Max Beckmann, Ice Skating


Max Beckmann
Ice Skating

Galerie St. Etienne
Max Beckmann, Strand


Max Beckmann

Royal Media Group S.A.R.L.
Max Beckmann, Frau mit Kerze


Max Beckmann
Frau mit Kerze

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Max Beckmann, Reiterschlacht


Max Beckmann

Galerie Thomas
Max Beckmann, Frühlingslandschaft mit Neubau


Max Beckmann
Frühlingslandschaft mit Neubau

Galerie Thomas
Past auction results (4500)  View All
Max Beckmann, Kinder am Fenster


Max Beckmann
Kinder am Fenster, 1922


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Max Beckmann, Strand


Max Beckmann
Strand, 1922


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Max Beckmann, Lovers


Max Beckmann
Lovers, 1922


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1884   Born in Leipzig, Germany
1900   Attends Grossherzogliche Kunstschule, Weimar (Studied art with Carl Frithjof Smith)
1949   Awarded first prize in the exhibition Painting in the United States
1950   Died: December 27th in New York City, NY
2011   Die unbekannte Sammlung - Klassiker der Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany
2007 - 2008   Max Beckmann - Exile in Amsterdam, Pinakothek der Moderne, Kunst
2006   Max Beckmann. Die Aquarelle und Pastelle, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
2003   Max Beckmann, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2003   Max Beckmann, Tate Modern, London
1997   Beckmann in Exile, Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1996   Max Beckmann, Galeria d'Arte Moderna Rome, Italy
1991   Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, Los Angeles County Museum Los Angeles, CA
1986   Expressionism-Die Avantgarde in Deutschland 1905-1920, Nationalgalerie and Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Germany
1986   German Realist Drawings of the 1920's, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1985   German Art of the 20th Century, Royal Academy London, England
1980   Expressionism: A German Intuition, Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1965   Max Beckmann, Tate Gallery London, England
1964   Max Beckmann Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1950   Max Beckmann zum Gedächtnis, Haus der Kunst Munich, Germany
1938   Recent Paintings by Max Beckmann, Buchholz Gallery New York
1938   20th Century German Art, New Burlington Galleries London, England
1937   Degenerate Art, Circulated by Nazis
1931   German Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1931   1st Paris exhibition, Galerie de la Renaissance
1926   1st US Exhibition, I.B. Neumann's New Art Circle New York
1917   Print Exhibition, I.B.Neumann Berlin, Germany
1913   Max Beckmann, Galerie Paul Cassier Berlin, Germany
1912   First solo show at the Kunstverein, Magdeburg and the Grossherzogliches Museum für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, Weimar
1906   Deutscher Künstlerbund Weimar