Portrait of Zeretelli (1927; Germany) by Max Beckmann

Portrait of Zeretelli - Max Beckmann - 1927; Germany

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Zeretelli
ArtistMax Beckmann
Date1927; Germany
Dimensions140 x 96 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationHarvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, US

About Portrait of Zeretelli

The artwork “Portrait of Zeretelli” by Max Beckmann, executed in 1927, stands as a notable example of Expressionism—a movement that sought to convey emotional experience rather than physical reality. This oil on canvas piece, which measures 140 by 96 centimeters, is part of the collection housed at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The genre of the work is a portrait, depicting a figure that appears to be captured in a personal and introspective moment.

Upon examining the artwork, one is struck by the bold use of color and the stark contours that typify Beckmann’s style. The subject is seated in a chair, confidently posed with one arm resting on the chair’s arm while the other touches the knee. The person’s attire is simplistic yet distinctive, characterized by a blue outfit with light-colored adornments that mimic a collar and cuffs, creating a sharp contrast against the deeper blue tones.

The facial features are rendered with pronounced lines and angular shapes; they do not seek to flatter but rather to push forward a psychological intensity that is characteristic of Beckmann’s approach to portraiture. The background is bitone, bisected horizontally in shades of cool grey and white, which frames the figure and accentuates its presence.

Overall, the “Portrait of Zeretelli” captures the essence of the Expressionist movement, highlighting the emotional and psychological depth rather than a mere physical likeness. The generality and formalism of the figure’s representation suggest a universal human experience that Beckmann was often interested in exploring through his art.

Other Artwork from Max Beckmann

More Expressionism Artwork

Scroll to Top