German Expressionism

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W. Drugulin, Leipzig

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About this work

Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

Beckmann's six drypoints loosely follow the dreamlike, erotic tales that unfold in this collection of five novellas by his friend Kasimir Edschmid, a leading Expressionist author. Beckmann included his own self-portrait in two of the prints: in one he appears with his family; in the other, he is seen groping a prostitute. In the years near the end and immediately following World War I, his most prolific period of printmaking, Beckmann began using Expressionist pictorial strategies, which earlier he had criticized, to convey his increasing disillusionment with the war. Distorted figures and cramped spaces heightened the emotional intensity of his images.


Beckmann met Edschmid through Ugi Battenberg, an old friend from his student days in Weimar and whose studio he used in Frankfurt while recovering from his mental breakdown during World War I. After Die Fürstin, Beckmann and Edschmid continued collaborating. In 1918, Beckmann contributed to Edschmid's volume of artists' statements, Schöpferische Konfession (Creative credo). The following year, he joined the progressive artists' group Darmstadt Secession, which Edschmid had organized.

Their publisher, Gustav Kiepenheuer in Weimar, wrote in a letter to a friend, "Beckmann and KE—I don't like either of them, but they are current." Upon hearing this, Edschmid and Beckmann raised their honoraria by 1,000 marks each.

Max Beckmann (German, 1884–1950)

Plate (facing page 78) from Die Fürstin (The Duchess)

View the interactive
page-turning animation »
Kasimir Edschmid
Drypoint from an illustrated book with six drypoints
plate: 7 3/16 x 5 1/2" (18.2 x 14 cm); page: 12 3/8 x 9 1/16" (31.5 x 23 cm)
Cream, slightly textured, wove.
Verlag Gustav Kiepenheuer, Weimar
Printer of Plates:
Carl Sabo, Berlin
Printer of Text:
W. Drugulin, Leipzig
500 (including deluxe edition of 35, signed, on wove paper (Zanders); preferred edition of 95, signed, on wove paper (Zanders) [this ex.]; and regular edition of 370, unsigned, on laid paper)
Credit Line:
The Louis E. Stern Collection
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Glaser 101 6. Gallwitz 89 6. Hofmaier 116 IV B. Rifkind 132 6.
MoMA Number:
Literary Subjects

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