- Museum number
Object: Kreuzabnahme (Descent from the Cross)
Series: Gesichter (Faces)
Plate 11: Deposition from the Cross; figures lowering the body of Christ. 1918
- Production date
Height: 305 millimetres
Width: 257 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- For a discussion of the series see Frances Carey & Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no.128 [1982,0724.27(18)]
Text from Frances Carey & Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no.142 [Discussion of 1982,0724.27(11)]
This is a reversed version of a painting dated 1917, now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York (Göpel 192, formerly Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt, whence sold in 1937). The painting is one of a number of religious subjects painted in that year which form a self-contained group in Beckmann's work: besides the great 'Resurrection' there is an 'Adam and Eve' and a 'Christ and the woman taken in adultery', which is exactly the same size as this painting. The standing figure at the right in the black tunic is identified as Major von Braunbehrens, who also appears in 1982,0724.16. The kneeling figure on the right is perhaps Klara, the Battenberg's maid (so the Göpels).
The Göpels publish an interesting account of the genesis of the painting. Beckmann was in the Leipzig-Haus in Frankfurt with Georg Hartmann, one of his Frankfurt patrons and the owner of a foundry, looking at a Gothic wooden Pietà of c. 1400. Hartmann challenged him to produce as strong a work of art in the spirit of the modern age; Beckmann accepted the challenge and produced this painting. The Gothic sculpture has been identified and is illustrated in Göpel 1976, 1, p. 577. Another Gothic work which is known to have impressed Beckmann deeply at this time are the panels of the great altar-piece of the Passion by Hans Holbein the Elder in the Städel.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984 May-Jul, London, Tate Gallery, 'Beckmann's Carnival'
1984/5 Sep-Jan, BM, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', no. 142
1992 Mar-May, Manchester Art Gallery, 'The Expressionist Face...'
1999 Aug-Oct, Bolton Museum & AG, Expressionism in Germany
1999/2000 Nov-Jan, Hull, Ferrens Art Gallery, Expressionism in Germany
2000 Feb-Mar, Preston, Harris Mus & AG, Expressionism in Germany
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number