Double Portrait, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Double Portrait
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Max Beckmann

Double Portrait, 1923

80.3 x 65 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 348
Acquired in 1924 as a gift from the artist, Withdrawn 1937, Restituted 1951
On loan


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.


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