The Beginning

Max Beckmann German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 601

As a child growing up in Leipzig, Germany, Beckmann was especially fond of illustrating imaginative journeys. In The Beginning, Beckmann looks back to his childhood with fondness and humor. Completed in 1949 when the artist was sixty-five years old, the panels are autobiographical. Beckmann’s memories of his schooldays in Germany are balanced by a dream fantasy on the right and left panels, respectively. In the central panel, childhood memories and dreamworlds intermingle. Deeply impacted by both World Wars and his exile from Germany, Beckmann’s work typically integrates tragic themes with expressionistic brushwork and bright colors.

#1842. Beginning

The Beginning, Max Beckmann (German, Leipzig 1884–1950 New York), Oil on canvas

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