Max Beckmann painted the portrait of Stephan Lackner between 1937-39. Stephan is depicted in a contemplative mood with varied and expressive hand gestures. The painting was commissioned by Lackner, who himself was a playwright and novelist, to illustrate his play in 1936.
Beckmann’s fascination with introspection is reflected in this painting through his portrayal of Lackner’s thoughtful expression. This portrait demonstrates Beckmann’s ability to capture the personality of his subject and express it through art effectively.
Notably, Beckmann produced over 80 self-portraits throughout his life, including a famous one painted while he was exiled to Amsterdam after fleeing Germany. Beckmann himself believed that through self-portraiture, he could explore different aspects of his personality and confront existential questions.
Stephan Lackner went on to acquire more than 65 Beckmann paintings, including the grand triptych “Abfahrt”. It is interesting to note that even though this portrait was only commissioned as an illustration for a play at first, it ended up becoming an intrinsic part of Lackner’s art collection.
Max Beckman’s Portrait Of Stephan Lackner highlights the artist’s exceptional skills in capturing the essence of a person’s thoughts and emotions in their portraits. It also serves as evidence that commissioned artworks can become valuable assets for art collectors if done right.