Blindman’s Buff (1945) by Max Beckmann

Blindman's Buff - Max Beckmann - 1945

Artwork Information

TitleBlindman's Buff
ArtistMax Beckmann
Date1945
MediumOil On Canvas
Dimensions206.38 x 439.42 cm
Art MovementGerman Expressionism
Current LocationMinneapolis Institute Of Arts
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About Blindman's Buff

Max Beckmann’s Blind Man’s Buff is a renowned and significant triptych completed during his difficult period of exile in Amsterdam between 1937 and 1947. The painting represents one of 5 triptychs created by Beckmann. It is the largest and most important of them, often considered a masterpiece of modern art.

The work illustrates a symbolic representation, with Medieval and religious associations through its three-paneled Triptych layout. Beckmann’s style in Blind Man’s Buff invites interpretation but resists explicit meaning, allowing viewers to experience it their own way. The triptych depicts human life at various stages, from infancy to death, with mysterious creatures surrounding the figures like enigmatic symbols.

Max Beckmann was a leading German Expressionist painter known for his boldness and power in representing tragic events from the early part of the 20th century. He managed to combine realism with mythological themes resulting in deeply psychological works that focused on existential fears felt by all humans.

Blind Man’s Buff remains an essential piece for those studying Modern Art as it epitomizes much of what defines this era – unstructured compositions exploring abstraction and formal language without losing narrative approach.

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