© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013, Foto: Artothek - Ursula Edelmann
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. SG 1258
101.5 × 127 cm
At a time in which abstract painting reached its climax, Max Beckmann – who taught at the Städel Art Institute until he was ousted from his teaching post in 1933 – remained faithful to his representational style. This unfinished painting, on which he was still working a day before his death in New York, combines three themes that dominate his oeuvre: the still life, the theatre, and the artistic problem of space. For Beckmann, space is at once a creative means, a real place, and a bearer of meaning. He associated it with “what human beings call God”.