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Portrait of the Family Lütjens

Portrait of the Family Lütjens

Max Beckmann (in 1944)

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This family portrait was made in Amsterdam towards the end of the Second World War. It was painted by the German artist Max Beckmann in the studio at his home in Rokin. Beckmann had fled to the Netherlands in 1937, after the Nazis condemned his work as degenerate (entartete Kunst) and banned him from exhibiting it in Germany. Beckmann led a solitary and difficult life in Amsterdam, but it was also a fruitful period in his career. In the ten years he spent there, he produced one third of his entire oeuvre.

His anchor and refuge during that time was Helmuth Lütjens, director of the Dutch branch of the German art firm Paul Cassirer. Beckmann portrayed Lütjens with his wife Nelly and their eighteen-month-old daughter Annemarie. The family is shown in the kitchen of the art gallery on Keizersgracht, which was also the space in which they lived. The painting, however, was executed in Beckmann’s studio. Beckmann worked from the quick pencil sketches he had made, not only of the adults but, in particular, of Annemarie. Lütjens saw the work only once it was finished. He was deeply moved and bought it on the spot.

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Title Portrait of the Family Lütjens
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height 179.5 cm
Width 85 cm
Artists Schilder: Max Beckmann
Accession number 3610 (MK)
Credits Aankoop met steun van / Purchase with the support of: Familie Lütjens, VriendenLoterij, Familiestichting Nolst Trenité, G.Ph. Verhagen Stichting, gemeente Rotterdam, Marlene Dumas, Ministerie van OC&W, Ministerie van Financiën, Mondriaan Fonds, Fonds 21, Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht, Stichting Nationaal Fonds Kunstbezit, Vereniging Rembrandt, de heer F.J. de Visser, VSB Fonds. Gedeeld eigendom / Shared ownership: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed 2009
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 2009
Age artist About 60 years old

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All about the artist

Max Beckmann

Leipzig 1884 - New York 1950

Max Beckmann studied in Wiemar in 1900 and later left for Berlin. In 1906 he met the artist Edvard Munch and exhibited together with the Neue Sachlichkeit...

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