MAX BECKMANN (German 1884-1950)
Die Wolke (The Cloud), 1934
Oil on canvas
15 by 21-5/8 inches (38 by 55 cm.)
Beckmann painted Die Wolke in the second year of Hitler’s rule over Germany. In 1933, the Nazis had dismissed him from his teaching post in Frankfurt and forbade an exhibition of his paintings which had already been assembled in Erfurt. This drastic change of circumstances triggered Beckmann’s decision to go into “inner exile.” He moved to Berlin and spent most of 1934 traveling with Quappi abroad and working in the studio of his father-in-law in Ohlstadt.
The present picture shows the area near Ohlstadt in Upper Bavaria. Considered within the dark context of Beckmann’s ostracism under National Socialism, the simple poetry of Die Wolke--with its three basic elements of cloud, sky and silhouetted mountains--is all the more noteworthy.
MAX BECKMANN (German, 1884-1950)
Kleiner Weiblicher Akt (rosa und braun)-Small Female Nude (pink and brown)
SIgned and dated upper left: Beckmann F. 30
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 1/2 inches (20.3 x 26.7 cm)
Max Beckmann (February 12, 1884 – December 27, 1950) was a German painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, and writer. Although he is classified as an Expressionistartist, he rejected both the term and the movement. In the 1920s, he was associated with the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), an outgrowth of Expressionism that opposed its introverted emotionalism.