Self-Portrait in Tuxedo (1927) by Max Beckmann

Self-Portrait in Tuxedo - Max Beckmann - 1927

Artwork Information

TitleSelf-Portrait in Tuxedo
ArtistMax Beckmann
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions54 1/2 x 37 3/4 in.
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationBusch–Reisinger Museum (Harvard Art Museums), Cambridge, MA, US
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About Self-Portrait in Tuxedo

Max Beckmann’s Self-Portrait in Tuxedo is a significant painting that captures the artist’s avant-garde and individualistic style, created in 1927. Beckmann was a renowned German painter who stood out for his unique approach to art. The painting debuted at the fifty-third exhibition of the Berlin Secession in 1928, where it upstaged the work of his contemporaries due to its enigmatic nature.

Beckmann completed over 85 self-portraits throughout his career, making this painting one of many. It exudes self-confidence, control, singularity and even arrogance through the artist’s gaze and pose. The painting features Max wearing a tuxedo with a top hat while standing against an abstract background with shades of green and orange.

Beyond its artistic value, Self-Portrait in Tuxedo has cultural and political significance. It presents Max as an independent character who was not afraid to challenge societal norms through his creativity while unapologetically embracing his uniqueness during a time when Germany was going through political turmoil.

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