© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013
The Synagogue in Frankfurt am Main
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. SG 1239
90 × 140 cm
In 1915, following a nervous breakdown triggered by his experiences of World War I, Max Beckmann sought refuge in Frankfurt, where he taught at the Städel School from 1929 until his dismissal in 1933 . During this period he executed a number of paintings with topographically precise views of the city. The focus of these vedute is not the human being – as otherwise in Beckmann’s oeuvre – but architecture. The synagogue – which was destroyed by fire in the “Kristallnacht” pogrom of 1938 – and the houses on the former Börne Square have divergent vanishing points. The distorted perspective conveys the impression that the facades are swaying, each in a different direction.