Still Life with Mimosas, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Still Life with Mimosas
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Max Beckmann

Still Life with Mimosas, 1939

61.0 x 46.0 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1981 as a gift from Kurt Möllgaard, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

“Gently propelled by mild folly, humanity skips from flower to flower” (diary entry, 27 June 1944). An empty glass, a closed book and a blossoming bouquet of mimosas, arranged on a white tablecloth, suggest a cheerful mood. But the mimosa is a flower that curls its leaves within seconds when it is touched, which is why it is used to symbolize people of a sensitive disposition. Adorning the cover of the book is the name of the Enlightenment philosopher Voltai[re]. Thus the still life can be seen as an allegory of a time of great political uncertainty, which Beckmann is endeavouring to face through his painting.

About the Acquisition

The Frankfurt businessman Dr. Kurt Möllgaard and his wife, Marga, began collecting modern art in 1945. From 1964 on they donated parts of their collection to the Städelscher Museums-Verein. Kurt Möllgaard commented on his activities: "In doing this, we have intentionally continued a tradition which is also cultivated to a considerable extent by those citizens of Frankfurt who had to leave their homes after 1933." In 1987 Kurt Möllgaard founded the Kurt und Marga Möllgaard-Stiftung, which remains active to this day.

Work Data

Basic Information

Still Life with Mimosas
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten rechts: Beckmann P. 37.
Work Catalogues
  • Göpel 2021, Nr. 521

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V.
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1981 as a gift from Kurt Möllgaard, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions



Research and Discussion


Object History
Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Amsterdam
Stephan Lackner (1910-2000), Paris/Santa Barbara, 1939
verkauft durch Roman Norbert Ketterer, Campione d'Italia an Marga Möllgaard (1905-1987) und Kurt Möllgaard (1902-1992), Frankfurt am Main
Schenkung an den Städelschen Museums-Verein, Frankfurt am Main, 1981.


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”.

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