Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Hell

Artist:
Max Beckmann (German, Leipzig 1884–1950 New York)
Date:
1918–19
Medium:
11 transfer lithographs
Dimensions:
Portfolio: 34 3/4 x 25 3/4 in. (88.3 x 65.4 cm) a: 17 x 20 1/4 in. (43.2 x 51.4 cm) b: 23 7/8 x 34 in. (60.6 x 86.4 cm) c: 23 7/8 x 33 1/4 in. (60.6 x 84.5 cm) d: 24 x 33 3/4 in. (61 x 85.7 cm) e: 22 3/8 x 29 1/2 in. (56.8 x 74.9 cm) f: 24 x 34 in. (61 x 86.4 cm) g: 24 x 34 1/8 in. (61 x 86.7 cm) h: 20 1/2 x 31 1/2 in. (52.1 x 80 cm) i: 24 1/4 x 33 1/2 in. (61.6 x 85.1 cm) j: 24 x 34 1/4 in. (61 x 87 cm) k: 24 x 34 1/4 in. (61 x 87 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.491a–n
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Following Klinger’s example, the German Expressionists often used printmaking to explore subject matter related to the darker side of life. Beckmann was one of numerous artists within this movement to mine the creative potential of the portfolio. The prints of Hell collectively express the nihilism and chaos of life in interwar Berlin. In Night, which was also realized as a painting shortly before the print was produced, a group of men cruelly tortures a middle-class family in their home. Coupled with the other horrific scenes of the portfolio, the image was meant to relate the psychological trauma inflicted on the German people by war and economic strife.
Inscription: Each print is signed "Beckmann," titled, and numbered 1/75
Hugo Stinnes, Berlin (1920–possibly until d. 1924); possibly his heirs, Berlin (1924–36); (sale, Hollstein & Puppel, Berlin, May 25–27, 1936, no. 63, sold to Kail); Kail collection, Germany (1936–49; sale, Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, Roman Norbert Ketterer, Stuttgart, October 26–28, 1949, no. 1441, sold to Beck); Beck Collection, Stuttgart (1949–2002; their sale, Sotheby's, London, October 9, 2002, no. 432, sold to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Max Beckmann's 'Hell'," May 9–August 31, 2003, no catalogue.

James Hofmaier. Max Beckmann: Catalogue Raisonné of His Prints. Vol. 1, Numbers 1–179. Bern, 1990, pp. 379–401, nos. 139–49, ill.

Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2001–2002." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 60 (Fall 2002), p. 40.

Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2002–2003." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 61 (Fall 2003), p. 47, ill. ("Night").



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