MoMA
Max Beckmann. Self-Portrait with a Cigarette. Frankfurt 1923
Max Beckmann

Self-Portrait with a Cigarette

Frankfurt 1923
On view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
23 3/4 x 15 7/8" (60.2 x 40.3 cm)
Credit
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. F. H. Hirschland
Object number
255.1956
Copyright
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

This is one of many paintings and prints in which Beckmann used self-portraiture as a form of role playing. Here, he presented himself as a stern and successful businessman, holding a cigarette in a gesture of nonchalance or defiance. But at the lower left, almost imperceptible, is a red polkadot sash. A sly reference to the dress of a clown, it mocks and rebukes his mask of authority. Beckmann frequently portrayed himself in circus costume.

Gallery label from German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, March 27–July 11, 2011
Provenance information
Acquired from the artist by J.B. Neumann (1887-1961), New York, by 1927 [1]; Franz H. Hirschland (1880-1973), New York, before 1930 [2]; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1956 (Gift of Dr. and Mrs. F.H. Hirschland).
[1] Erhard Göpel and Barbara Göpel, Max Beckmann: Katalog der Gemälde, Bern: Kornfeld & Cie., 1976, vol. 1, no. 221. Included in the exhibition Max Beckmann, New Art Circle (J.B. Neumann), New York, April 12-May 11, 1927. Reproduced on the front cover of Art Lover: I.B. Neumanns Bilderhefte: Max Beckmann, April 1915.
[2] Included in the exhibition Modern German Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 12-April 26, 1931, no. 7. Lender: F.H. Hirschland.

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource