Still Life with Saxophones, Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Still Life with Saxophones
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Max Beckmann

Still Life with Saxophones, 1926

85.5 x 195.3 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 1159
Acquired in 1927, Confiscated in 1936, Reacquired in 1955 with means provided by the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 9


About the Work

“Do you hear the noise of my paintings?” – Max Beckmann asked his wife in a letter. Defying all logical spatial order, various objects – most of them grouped in pairs – crowd and interlock with one another. Two large saxophones trigger associations of loud music. There is something creepy about the doll being squashed by a horn and the view into pitch blackness. The painting is dedicated to jazz, a music style the artist adored. The saxophone on the left bears the name of a Frankfurt jazz club, ‘Bar African’, while the words on the other, ‘On New York’, allude to the roots of these rhythms.


  • Basic information
  • Focus on cultural history
  • Highlights of the Städel Collection

Work Data

Basic Information

Still Life with Saxophones
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten rechts: Beckmann F. 26.
Work Catalogues
  • Göpel 2021, Nr. 257

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1927, Confiscated in 1936, Reacquired in 1955 with means provided by the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions


  • 41E still life of miscellaneous objects
  • 48C73521 saxophone

Research and Discussion


Object History
Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Frankfurt am Main
verkauft an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1927
beschlagnahmt als „entartete Kunst“ durch das Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, 26. Oktober 1936
verkauft an Karl Buchholz (1901-1992), Berlin/Madrid, 15. April 1941
verkauft an Curt Valentin (1902-1954), New York, September 1948
Nachlass Curt Valentin, New York, 1954
verkauft an Galerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Düsseldorf, Juni 1955
verkauft an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, Oktober 1955.


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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