Carnival (1943) by Max Beckmann

Carnival - Max Beckmann - 1943

Artwork Information

ArtistMax Beckmann
MediumOil on Canvas
Current LocationState University of Iowa

About Carnival

German painter Max Beckmann created the triptych painting “Carnival” in 1942-1943 while in exile in Amsterdam. Measuring 75 x 33 9/16 inches and executed with oil on linen canvas, the artwork was initially titled “Adam und Eva” before being known as “Carnival in Amsterdam.” The piece explores the solitary nature of humanity and illustrates its loneliness.

Despite displacement during World War II, Beckmann remained incredibly productive, garnering appreciation for his use of emotional complexity and meaning to disturb observers sensibly. Associated with Expressionism and New Objectivity movements throughout his career, he rejected expressionistic practice but later acknowledged affiliation with New Objectivity movement during that period.

The painting was featured at Tate Modern in London as part of a retrospective exhibition focusing on Max Beckmann’s work. Since then, it has garnered unprecedented acclaim for its candid illustration of the human condition.

Max Beckmann passed away at age 66; however, his paintings remain timeless classics that inspire audiences across generations.

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