Feb 6, 2008
Feb 6, 2008

Self-Portrait in Bowler Hat

Self-Portrait in Bowler Hat


Max Beckmann

(German, 1884–1950)


Support: Medium weight modern laid paper with watermark

Sheet: 41.5 x 33.8 cm (16 5/16 x 13 5/16 in.); Platemark: 31.6 x 24.6 cm (12 7/16 x 9 11/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2008.4

Catalogue raisonné: Hoffmaier 180

State: Trial proof state III A /IV B



Max Beckmann made more than 80 self-portraits. In this one, he posed as a well-dressed gentleman who confronts the viewer with an intensely piercing gaze and a serious, melancholy expression. Framed on the left by his cat and cast shadow, on the right by a narrow vase and ashtray, and on the top by a stiff bowler hat, his face and hand project forward from the background. The art historian Paul Schmidt described Beckmann’s spatial concoctions as “supernatural,” where “the picture is governed not by the laws of the optical qualities of real phenomena, but solely by its spiritual relations.” Beckmann’s drypoint technique achieves rich, velvety shadows and strong, blurry lines, as well as angular blocks of lines that unite the different elements of the composition.

See also
PR - Drypoint
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.