Beckmann executed this unusual society portrait in 1918. It depicts the artist (top centre) and several of his friends, among them Ugi Battenberg (picking his nose) and his wife Fridel (bottom right). Arranged densely one above and beside the other on a single plane, their heads are locked into place by elements of a claustrophobic bourgeois living room. Only the servant is free of the boredom that has all the guests yawning so deeply that communication is at a standstill. ‘The Yawners’ is to be understood as a metaphor for the stupor and apathy of society.