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MAX BECKMANN
MAX BECKMANN

Berliner Reise (H. 212-222)

Details
MAX BECKMANN
Berliner Reise (H. 212-222)
the complete portfolio of ten lithographs and the lithographic cover, 1922, on wove paper, each signed in pencil, numbered 1/100, one of approximately sixty sets issued complete and with the portfolio, published by I. B. Neumaun, Berlin, the full sheets, with deckle edges, the sheets with time staining and occasional pale pinpoint foxing, some sheets with unobtrusive printing creases, otherwise generally in good condition, with the original portfolio, each framed
Overall: 27½ x 22 in. (698 x 558 mm.)
Provenance
Heinrich Stinnes (L. 1376a)

Condition report

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Lot Essay

The portfolio Berliner Reise is Beckmann's second series of large lithographs after Die H/uolle, published in 1919. Like H/uolle, 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. They both start with a self-portrait. The subsequent plates are conceived as pairs, whereby one plate, illustrating the leisurely 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 Reisei have become very rare: only seven sets have been offered at auction in the last 25 years.

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