Self-Portrait with Red Scarf (1917) by Max Beckmann

Self-Portrait with Red Scarf - Max Beckmann - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleSelf-Portrait with Red Scarf
ArtistMax Beckmann
Art MovementVerism
Current LocationStaatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

About Self-Portrait with Red Scarf

The artwork entitled “Self-Portrait with Red Scarf” is an oil on canvas creation by the artist Max Beckmann, dating back to 1917. Associated with the Verism movement, this self-portrait is part of the genre that engages with a realistic depiction of the artist’s own likeness. The artwork is housed at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, located in Stuttgart, Germany, where it can be viewed and studied.

In this self-portrait, Beckmann presents himself frontally but slightly turned to his left, in a position that engages directly with the viewer through an intense and focused gaze. The artist’s head is sharply angled, and his face is rendered with strong, angular lines, suggesting a psychological intensity and inner tension. Beckmann’s use of color is notable, with the red scarf around his neck offering a stark contrast to the otherwise muted tones of his attire and the background. The use of light and shadow plays across his face, accentuating his features and contributing to the sense of depth and volume.

The background is minimally detailed, with a suggestion of an interior space characterized by geometric panes of glass that offer a warm, glowing light from the outside. This grants the scene an atmospheric intensity, wherein the forms and colors seem to resonate with an emotional charge. Beckmann’s ability to translate his self-perception into visual form makes this painting a powerful example of self-portraiture within the Verism movement, which emphasized straightforward and often critical depictions of contemporary life.

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