Max Beckmann, ‘Self-Portrait’, 1911, Christie's

Sgned in pencil in Latin script, not numbered, a fine proof impression aside from the numbered First Edition of twenty, published by E. W. Tieffenbach, Berlin (there was also a Second Edition of forty impressions on laid paper, published by I. B. Neumann, Berlin, circa 1917), the full sheet, with deckle edges at left and above, some minor unobtrusive printer's creases at the edges of the subject, generally in very good condition.
Image 250 x 185 mm., Sheet 580 x 415 mm.

From the Catalogue:
Max Beckmann was only seventeen when he made his first printed self-portrait in 1901, depicting himself as an isolated, screaming head (Hofmaier 2). His last, showing a man in late middle age wearing a beret, came sixty-two years later. In the intervening forty-five years he returned to his own likeness as a subject no fewer than thirty-five times, rivalling Rembrandt as the possibly greatest self-portraitist in the history of printmaking.

The present lithograph is only his fourth self-portrait and the earliest to be at all obtainable, albeit very rarely. The first one, created in pure drypoint, exists in one impression only and is part of the artist's estate. The second, Self-Portrait with Beard (H. 5), exists only in two impressions, as does the third, Self-Portrait 1904 (H. 6), in which the artist presented himself for the first time as a dandy in a black-tie suit. In the present lithograph of 1911 he portrayed himself once again in what was to become his favourite attire, this time staring wide-eyed, almost menacingly, at the viewer. In its intensity and concentration on a seemingly disembodied head, it is reminiscent of another great self-portrait, created in the last years of the 19th century: Edvard Munch's famous self-portrait with a skeleton arm (see lot 32).
—Courtesy of Christie's

Christie's Special Notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Hofmaier 25

About Max Beckmann

Leading Modernist painter, printmaker, draftsman, and writer Max Beckmann began his career working in the traditional style but came to be linked with Expressionism, as well as the Neue Sachlichkeit's contemporary social criticism. Devoted to figuration, Beckmann repeatedly used the theater, circus, history, mythology, and religion as allegories for human tragedy. Among his many self-portraits is 1938's Self-Portrait With Horn, painted after he fled Nazi Germany. Typical of his work's intense color, emotion, and metaphysical quality, it shows the artist in a vivid orange and black gown with a deeply furrowed brow.

German, 1884-1950, Leipzig, Germany