- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Hatje Cantz (July 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3775718389
- ISBN-13: 978-3775718387
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.5 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,711,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Max Beckmann: Exile in Amsterdam
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About the Author
Max Beckmannwas born in Leipzig in 1884 to a family of farmers. He began his formal studies in 1900 at the Weimar Art Academy and moved to Paris soon after with his new wife. Drafted into World War I, he was deemed unfit to serve in the Second, and spent the war years in Germany, outlawed by Hitler from exhibiting his "degenerate" paintings. After the war, he came to America, taking up the post of Painter-in-Residence at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In the late 1940s he moved to Manhattan, where he died of a heart attack en route to see his work in a show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on December 27, 1950.
Top customer reviews
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This fine book covers the period of his life spent in Amsterdam to which he and his wife moved after he had been listed among Germany's Degenerate Artists. Thanks to his friends and associates, as well as his son, a German military physician, he was able to avoid the worst of what might have happened to him while producing some of his very finest work. With the aid of excellent reproductions and penetrating analysis by the authors in the light of his personal correspondence and diaries, we are able to understand better the often difficult pictures to which his wide-ranging reading and thought gave birth. Where no reasonably sound hypothesis can be found for an aspect of a picture, the authors have the courage simply to say that they do not apprehend what he might be getting at.
All in all, this stacks up as one of the must have monographs for those interested in European art of the Twentieth Century as well as anyone interested in the impact of Europe's catastrophe upon an independent-minded artist who knew that there was no escape from its consequences.
Each work is wonderfully illustrated and an enlightening explanation is placed next to every illustration. This book is of great help in that it succeeds in deciphering some of Beckmann's most difficult paintings, as for example, the thriptych entitled "the Temptation of Saint Anthony", giving the roots and the sources that inspired the artist.
Also very well described in the essays in the beginning of the book, is the changing attitude of the artist in the face of the historical events that were tragically changing his life and his country at the time.
The book ends with photographs of all the places frequented by Beckmann during his stay in Amsterdam (his various homes, the grocery store where he used to shop...) and a very clear chronology placing Beckmann's life next to the historical events he went through.