Max Beckmann. The Ideologists (plate 6) [Die Ideologen (Blatt 6)] from Hell (Die Hölle). 1919

Max Beckmann The Ideologists (plate 6) [Die Ideologen (Blatt 6)] from Hell (Die Hölle) 1919

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 514 The David Geffen Wing

Hell conjures the nightmare of social disintegration and violence that gripped Berlin after the end of World War I. Using fragmented city views, compressed interiors, and contorted bodies to convey chaos and claustrophobia, Beckmann composed each scene like a stage set. “If one comprehends . . . the entire war or even all of life only as a scene in the theater,” he wrote, “everything is much easier to bear.” The artist depicts himself in several prints, including The Way Home, where he encounters a disfigured war veteran on the street. Other images were based on recent incidents, including the January 1919 murder of the Communist leader Rosa Luxemburg, pictured in The Martyrdom.

Gallery label from 2022
Medium
One from a portfolio of eleven lithographs (including front cover)
Dimensions
composition (irreg.): 28 1/8 x 19 7/8" (71.4 x 50.5 cm); sheet: 34 1/4 x 24 3/16" (87 x 61.5 cm)
Publisher
J. B. Neumann, Berlin
Printer
C. Naumann's Druckerei, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Edition
75; plus 4 known trial proofs
Credit
Larry Aldrich Fund
Object number
308.1954
Copyright
© 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Department
Drawings and Prints

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New Gallery, New York; to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1954

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