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Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann
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Max Beckmann
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From a Private German Collection
Max Beckmann

Berliner Reise 1922 (H. 212-222)

Details
Max Beckmann
Berliner Reise 1922 (H. 212-222)
the complete portfolio of ten lithographs, 1922, on wove paper, each signed in pencil, numbered 12/100, one of approximately sixty sets issued complete with the folder and title lithograph (the remainder of the edition was offered as individual plates), published by I. B. Neumann, Berlin, 1922, the full sheets, with deckle edges, in excellent condition, within the original cardboard folder with black linen spine, with the title lithograph Selbstbildnis mit Koffer (H. 212) on the front, the cover slightly worn, generally in very good condition(portfolio)
700 x 560 mm. (overall)

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Charlie Scott
Charlie Scott

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Lot Essay

The portfolio Berliner Reise is Beckmann's second series of large lithographs after Die Hölle, published in 1919. Like Hölle, it is a journey into the abyss, an essay on the depravity and misery of the big city in the years after the first World War.
Morally, so Beckmann remarked in a letter to Reinhard Piper in 1922, the two series belong together. Like Hölle and Jahrmarkt (see previous lot) this series also begins with a self-portrait. The following plates are conceived as pairs, whereby one plate, illustrating the leasurely pastimes of a decadent, disillusioned and hypocritical bourgeoisie, is confronted with another, depicting the struggles and vulgar amusements of the urban poor. The final plate, as a companion piece to the first one, is a disguised portrait of the artist as a chimney sweep. The sun rises as he stands on a rooftop overlooking the city - an unlikely, yet powerful image of hope.

Complete sets of Berliner Reise 1922 have become very rare: only five sets have been offered at auction in the last 25 years and none has been on the market since 1993.

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