With a thick application of paint and visible brush marks, Beckmann sketched the water tower of the district Berlin-Hermsdorf, where he lived from 1907 to 1910. The light colours and loose brushwork show his interest in Impressionist painting. The tower under construction rises up on a hill next to a pine forest; thus, both the scaffolding tubes and the slender trees create an upward motion. This is one of the reasons why the motif is reminiscent of the “Tower of Babel”. Also further supported by the fact that Beckmann often dealt with biblical themes during this period.
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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