Reclining Nude – (Max Beckmann) Previous Next


Style: Expressionism

Topic: Nudes Nudes

Date: 1929

Size: 123 x 86 cm

Museum: Art Institute of Chicago (United States)

Technique: Oil On Canvas

The theme of the nude is fairly rare in Beckmann's work. Masterfully painted, this work shows Beckmann's vehement handling of pigment laid down in broad slabs of color and in dark, chiseling contours. Beckmann has injected it with something of the unsettling quality so pronounced in his more well-known works. This is the nude stripped of its idealizing veneer and depicted as the object of blatant and disquieting erotic impulses. So dominant is this feature, in fact, that the woman's head seems over-shadowed, no more than a perfunctory afterthought, and oddly discontinuous with the rest of the figure. Despite the lush handling of paint and the beautifully sketched still life on the lower right, there seems to be more than a hint of aggression in the unabashed emphasis on the woman's breasts and in the ostentatious splaying of the figure.

This artwork is in the public domain.


Max Beckmann


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