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Mother and daughter



Max Beckmann


12 Feb 1884 – 27 Dec 1950

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Old woman in ermine
    Old lady with daughter
    Alternative title
    Alte dame mit Tochter
    Place where the work was made
    Amsterdam The Netherlands
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    150.5 x 80.5 cm stretcher; 172.4 x 102.9 x 6.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.c., black oil "Beckmann / ... 46".

    Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation Purchase 1987
    Accession number
    © Max Beckmann/Bild-Kunst. Licensed by Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Max Beckmann

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Although associated with German expressionism and the New Objectivity movement, Max Beckmann occupies his own category as a moral fabulist. His proclivity was for symbolic narratives, often large in scale and complex in iconography, that highlight the tragicomic fate of humanity. The triptych, with its sacred associations, was the format he favoured for important projects, producing a significant number of them at the time of his forced flight from Nazism in 1937. Beckmann's portraits, still-life subjects, nudes and smaller genre pieces are equally invested with a sense of the sacramental. Ever the sceptical recorder of the follies of the world, even his most affectionate works have a cynical edge. 'Mother and daughter' [invested with Beckham's sense of the sacramental]: might be read as a prostitute presented for our inspection by the madam of the brothel. Or perhaps the older woman signifies exhausted Europe, counterpoised with the vital New World of America. Beckmann relocated to the United States in 1947 after a decade spent in Holland.

    AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 10 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 21 publications

  • Provenance

    Max Beckmann, New York/New York/United States of America

    Buchholz Gallery Curt Valentin, 04 Feb 1947-1955, New York/New York/United States of America, with Buchholz Gallery 1947-1955

    Mathilde Quappi Beckmann, 27 Dec 1950-1967, New York/New York/United States of America, by descent

    Catherine Viviano Gallery, 1955-1967, New York/New York/United States of America, with Catherine Viviano Gallery 1955 - approx. 1967; in commission

    Private Collection, 1976, New York/New York/United States of America, Listed in 'Max Beckmann: Katalog der Gemälde' Band I, 1976, pg. 437, as New York, Privatbesitz

    Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Oct 1981-1985, New York/New York/United States of America, by Oct 1981; in commission. Purchased by Galerie Beyeler from Grace Borgenicht Gallery 1985

    Galerie Beyeler, 1985-01 May 1987, Basel/Switzerland, Purchased by the AGNSW from Galerie Beyeler 1987. Galerie Beyeler stock no. 10714

Other works by Max Beckmann