This self-portrait marks a turning point in Beckmann’s art of painting: it depicts the moment he turned away from Impressionism and towards other influences. The systematised brushstrokes and the painter’s looks show the influence of van Gogh’s self-portraits. In contrast, the emphatically geometric structure of the background with its large, coherent colour fields reflects the artist’s interest in Cézanne’s art. The letters at the bottom of the picture can be read as a dedication to Beckmann’s future wife, Minna Tube: “Mister Beckmann to his Dearest [Herr Beckmann seiner Liebsten] Minna (Minkchen) Tube”.
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 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.
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