Double Portrait, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Double Portrait
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Max Beckmann

Double Portrait, 1923

80.3 x 65.0 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 348
Acquired in 1924 as a gift from the artist, Withdrawn 1937, Restituted 1951
Not on display


About the Work

The depiction conveys a certain unease: the composition forces the two women into a spatial proximity that only reinforces the viewer’s impression of their distanced relationship. Marie Swarzenski, wife of his patron and then Städel director Georg Swarzenski, and the latter’s secretary, Carola Netter, sat separately as models for the painting – for Beckmann to then unite them in one portrait. Marie Swarzenski’s angular features and stiff posture on the right appear austere in comparison to Carola Netter’s soft facial expression on the left. Beckmann also used the colour contrast of the dresses to emphasise the differences between the women, whose personalities can barely unfold in the narrow painting.

About the Acquisition

A resident of Frankfurt from 1915 onwards, Max Beckmann taught a master class at the Städelschule from 1925 to 1933. It was in this period that he became one of Germany’s best-known and most successful painters. Frankfurt’s Städtische Galerie cultivated an especially intensive relationship to Beckmann. Between 1919 and 1933 the collection purchased altogether thirteen of his paintings. In 1924 it received this personal work from the artist as a gift.


  • Basic information
  • Focus on Frankfurt
  • Focus on art history

Work Data

Basic Information

Double Portrait
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert oben rechts: Beckmann F. 23.
Work Catalogues
  • Göpel 2021, Nr. 222

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1924 as a gift from the artist, Withdrawn 1937, Restituted 1951

Work Content

Motifs and References


  • 61BB2(SWARZENSKI, Marie)12(+54) historical person (SWARZENSKI, Marie) - BB - woman - historical person (SWARZENSKI, Marie) in a double-portrait (+ three-quarter length portrait)
  • 61BB2(NETTER, Carola)12(+54) historical person (NETTER, Carola) - BB - woman - historical person (NETTER, Carola) in a double-portrait (+ three-quarter length portrait)
  • 31AA235 sitting figure - AA - female human figure

Research and Discussion


Object History
Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Frankfurt
laut Eintrag im Inventarbuch geschenkt „als Überweisung des Direktors“ an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1924
laut Eintrag im Inventarbuch „vom Schenker zurückgezogen,“ vor 1938
Depot des „Instituts zur Erforschung der Judenfrage,“ Hungen, 1943
Offenbach Archival Depot, ca. 1945
Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, 21. Februar 1946
Übergabe an die Jewish Restitution Successor Organization, Nürnberg, 4. Juli 1951
Übergabe an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, November 1951.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

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  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
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  • the date on which it changed hands

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Conservation and Restoration

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