Ice on the River, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Ice on the River
Back to top
Related external works

Zu dem Gemälde existiert eine Kaltnadelradierung, die im darauffolgenden Jahr bei Paul Cassirer in Berlin erschien.

Max Beckmann

Ice on the River, 1923

47.5 x 59.5 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1994 with means provided by the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Marga und Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung and other donors, Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V. and the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art


About the Work

Beckmann created a series of city views during his time in Frankfurt. This one takes as its subject the characteristic panorama of the River Main. On a quiet winter's morning, with the crescent moon still visible in the sky, we gaze upriver from the Untermain Bridge towards the old city with the Cathedral of St Bartholomew, the Eiserner Steg and, on the right, the river bank on the Sachsenhausen side. The view lacks topographical precision: what Beckmann paints is the historical form of the tower as it appeared before the major fire at the cathedral in 1867. He focuses all his attention on the river, which lies between the two banks like a dark band. Drifting on the water are huge floes of ice.

About the Acquisition

The painting was first owned by the Jewish textile entrepreneur Fritz Neuberger (1877–1943), who acquired it directly from Max Beckmann in the 1920s. Neuberger and his wife Hedwig (1895–1943) were Jewish and persecuted during the Nazi era. They were deported and murdered in the Majdanek death camp in 1943. Their only son was able to flee via the Netherlands to Great Britain in May 1939 and then to the United States. Unaware of the fate of its Jewish first owner, the Städelscher Museums-Verein acquired the painting from a private collection in 1994. Funds were provided by the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard Foundation and many further private donors. After conducting extensive research into the history of the painting, the Museums-Verein reached a good-will agreement with the heirs of the Neuberger family in 2017 allowing for the work to remain in Frankfurt. Städelscher Museums-Verein has received major financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany.


  • 01:12
    Basic information
  • 01:40
    Focus on Frankfurt

Work Data

Basic Information

Ice on the River
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten links: Beckmann F. 23

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V. sowie der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Picture Copyright
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquired in 1994 with means provided by the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Marga und Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung and other donors, Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V. and the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Work Content



Research and Discussion


Object History
Verkauf durch Zinglers Kabinett für Kunst- und Bücherfreunde, Frankfurt an Fritz Neuberger (1877-1943), Frankfurt, vor 1928
Privatsammlung, seit mind. 1952
Verkauf durch Hanna Bekker vom Rath, Frankfurt an Alfred Mieth, Wiesbaden
Nachlass Alfred Mieth, Wiesbaden
Verkauf an den Städelschen Museums-Verein, Frankfurt, 1994
Vereinbarung des Städelschen Museums-Vereins im Sinne der "Washingtoner Prinzipien" und der "Gemeinsamen Erklärung" mit den Erben nach Fritz Neuberger, 2017 (Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V. sowie der Bundesrepublik Deutschland).


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.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .

More to discover



Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last update