Max Beckmann, a German artist known for his self-portraits. He completed over 85 self-portraits throughout his career which was significant to him. One of these portraits is “Self-Portrait,” created in 1901, in expressionism style. The painting portrays the artist as introspective, looking somewhat past the viewer with quiet contemplation.
In contrast to other artists who use their self-portraits as a means of exploring existential anguish or personal desire, Beckmann presents himself as a self-possessed and confident individual. This confidence is echoed in the way he dresses and poses for each portrait. The earliest work from The Göpel Collection is from 1901 when Beckmann was only eighteen years old – have evolved considerably over time.
Beckmann’s self-representation reflects his practice of painting individuals that demonstrate power, privilege and an emotional bravado. His artistic talent led him to be designated one of Germany’s leading Expressionists although he rejected that classification preferring to define himself solely on his ability rather than being confined within arbitrary definitions like “Expressionist.”