Max Beckmann’s Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket is a painting created in 1950, depicting the artist standing in his studio wearing a brightly colored shirt and sport coat. In the painting, Beckmann can be seen contemplating an unseen painting with a canvas turned to the wall behind him. This self-portrait shows Beckmann’s pride and confidence in his career and ability as an artist, which is reflected through the bold style of brushstrokes and his remarkable use of colors.
The use of vibrant colors serves to highlight the painter’s personality traits. However, this diminishing status of his physical self may reference Max’s failing health in his final years, leading up to his death on December 28th, 1950. The work was completed just a few weeks before Max passed away; therefore, every detail included creates symbolism for trying to understand its meaning after he passed.
Furthermore, Self-Portrait In Blue Jacket by Max Beckmann would go on to be displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art shortly after its completion under an exhibition titled ‘American Painting Today.’ This artwork has stood the test of time as it offers insight into Max’s avant-garde style that is very much iconic within abstract expressionism paintings till date.