Self-Portrait, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
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Max Beckmann

Self-Portrait, 1905

43.9 x 55.1 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 440
Acquired in 1929
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 9


About the Work

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”.


  • Exhibition “MAKING VAN GOGH: A German Love Story” (2019)

Work Data

Basic Information

Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten rechts: Beckmann 1905.
Work Catalogues
  • Göpel 2021, Nr. 36

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1929

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions


  • 48C513(+2) portrait, self-portrait of painter (+ artist in non-work situation)
  • 61B2(BECKMANN,Max)11(+51) historical person (BECKMANN,Max) - historical person (BECKMANN,Max) portrayed alone (+ head (BECKMANN,Max) (BECKMANN,Max))
  • 41D222(TIE) neck-gear ~ clothing (TIE)
  • 49L641 paper (writing material)
  • 41A3372 view through a window from the inside
  • 41A36 roof (of house or building)
  • 25H17 meadow, pasture
  • 61D(DENMARK) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (DENMARK) (DENMARK)

Research and Discussion


Object History
Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Berlin
verkauft an Sammlung Weber, Berlin
O. Schönebeck, Berlin
verkauft als Überweisung des Direktors Georg Swarzenski (1876-1957) an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1929.


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

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