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Self-Portrait

Max Beckmann, German (active United States), 1884 - 1950

Geography:
Made in Germany, Europe

Date:
1918

Medium:
Drypoint

Dimensions:
Plate: 12 x 9 7/8 inches (30.5 x 25.1 cm) Sheet: 19 3/16 x 12 7/8 inches (48.7 x 32.7 cm)

Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1951-59-8

Credit Line:
Print Club of Philadelphia Permanent Collection, 1951

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    From 1900 to 1950, during a half-century of war, chaos, and exile, Max Beckmann made more than eighty self-portraits. None is more revealing than this unflinching attempt by Beckmann to confront the anguish he had endured as a volunteer in the field hospitals at the front in World War I. Here he underscored his discomfort with ink-clogged, rough-edged strokes of a drypoint needle cut impulsively into the surface of the copper plate. Beckmann must have printed this unique proof to review the changes he had made on the plate as he progressively developed his image. At left, above his shoulder, are traces of drypoint lines that in an earlier stage of the composition had extended a form on the right--perhaps the back of a chair with a triangular top--now half-obscured by curving dark lines. In a final transformation Beckmann reworked these sweeping curves to suggest a curtain billowing in front of a window with a view of the house gable that is designated in the title. John Ittmann, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 240.

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