The Dream (1921) by Max Beckmann

The Dream - Max Beckmann - 1921

Artwork Information

TitleThe Dream
ArtistMax Beckmann
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions71 3/4 x 35 7/8 in.
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationSaint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, US

About The Dream

“The Dream” is an oil on canvas artwork by Max Beckmann, created in 1921 and currently housed in the Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. The artwork measures 71 3/4 by 35 7/8 inches and is considered a symbolic painting within the Cubism art movement.

The artwork presents a complex composition characterized by a profusion of figures and objects, which appear to be entangled and layered upon one another. The colors utilized are vivid, yet the overall tone seems somber, conveying a sense of emotional depth and psychological intensity. The figures’ faces and bodies are depicted in a distorted and fragmented manner typical of Cubism, showing multiple perspectives simultaneously.

A central figure occupies the foreground, who seems contemplative or detached, surrounded by other characters, some of whom hold musical instruments, suggesting a connection to performance or the arts. There are also elements such as fish and various geometric shapes intimately woven into the scene. The density of the composition implies a narrative, yet its abstract nature leaves much to the viewer’s interpretation. Beckmann’s manipulation of form and space, as well as his use of symbolism, invites contemplation on the complexities of human experience and the boundaries between reality and dream.

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