Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket (1950) by Max Beckmann

Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket - Max Beckmann - 1950

Artwork Information

TitleSelf-Portrait in Blue Jacket
ArtistMax Beckmann
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions55 1/8 x 36 in.
Art MovementExpressionism

About Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket

The artwork titled “Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket” is an oil on canvas painting by Max Beckmann, created in 1950. It is an exemplar of the Expressionism movement and measures 55 1/8 by 36 inches. This self-portrait genre piece foregrounds Beckmann’s highly individual style characterized by a bold use of color and dramatic composition.

In this expressive self-portrait, Beckmann captures himself in a frontal pose, his face providing a focal point with its intense gaze. The artist appears against a dark, almost monochromatic background that contrasts sharply with the bright blue of the jacket he is wearing. His attire is accented with an orange tie and a white-striped shirt, suggesting the artist’s attention to the details of his own representation. Beckmann’s use of color is emblematic of his approach to expressionism, employing strong, resonant hues to convey emotion and psychological depth.

The artwork’s composition pushes the central figure close to the viewer, creating an intimate yet confrontational experience. This proximity, combined with the introspective expression on Beckmann’s face and his hand thoughtfully touching his lips, imbues the portrait with a sense of deep contemplation or concern. The distorted perspective and simplified forms are typical of the Expressionist movement’s departure from realism, emphasizing inner feeling over external reality. Beckmann’s self-portrait is thus both a personal meditation and a broader statement on human experience, conveyed through the distinctive prism of his artistic vision.

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