Woman with parrot (1946) by Max Beckmann

Woman with parrot - Max Beckmann - 1946

Artwork Information

TitleWoman with parrot
ArtistMax Beckmann
Art MovementExpressionism

About Woman with parrot

The artwork entitled “Woman with parrot” is a creation of the artist Max Beckmann, completed in the year 1946. As an exemplar of the Expressionism movement, this portrait is notable for its emotional intensity and the manner in which it captures the essence of the subject beyond mere physical likeness.

In the artwork, an enigmatic woman is depicted occupying the canvas’s foreground. She is presented in a somewhat angular form, which is characteristic of Beckmann’s style, emphasizing the expressive qualities over realistic representation. Her face bears a contemplative, almost serene expression, subtly imprinted with a sense of inner thought or unease.

The woman is adorned in a dark, shoulder-baring garment, adorned with what appear to be small, vivid red motifs, creating a stark contrast with her pale skin. A flower-like accessory graces her hair, drawing attention to the stylized treatment of her figure.

In intimate proximity to the woman, a parrot is perched, its plumage rendered in a strikingly vivid array of colors that enliven the otherwise muted palette of the composition. The juxtaposition of the living parrot alongside the woman introduces a layer of symbolism and heightens the sense of an unspoken narrative within the artwork. The background of the painting offers little detail, save for what might be interpreted as a partition or a window hinting at a confined space.

Behind the parrot, there appear to be books shelved on the wall, suggesting an environment of contemplation or study­­—a place wherein intellectual pursuits might unfold. The interplay of colors, combined with the introspective nature of the subject, situates the viewer within Beckmann’s emotionally charged visual language, where every element is laden with potential meaning.

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