Max Beckmann’s The Argonauts is a triptych painting completed in 1950. It is an allegory of the artist’s life and a complex autobiographical piece. The left panel represents painting, the right panel music, and the middle panel poetry. Beckmann often includes actors, cabaret singers, and heroes in his paintings, as seen in this piece. His distinct scowling face and enormous head also make an appearance.
The Argonauts is part of a triptych series by Beckmann that also includes Departure and The Artists. In addition to its personal themes, it reflects his Expressionist and New Objectivity movements within art. There are multiple references to his life and work throughout the panels.
Beckmann’s masterpiece, The Night (1918-1919), symbolizes war-torn Germany through the tormented family depicted in the painting. This artwork stands out as one of his most well-known pieces due to its haunting quality. The Argonauts similarly showcases Beckmann’s artistic style but with a more personal focus on his own life experiences and artistic inspiration.