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Anna Karamazina

26.11.2022 15:00

$20.7M. Max Beckmann portrait breaks German auction records

A tone-portrayal by the German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann may now be the most precious artwork ever to be sold at auction in Germany, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The oil picture for $20.7 million on Thursday at Berlin’s Grisebach transaction house. The former record was for a 15th-century citation form of a Buddhist deity from China, which vended last time for about $10 million.

The oil, named Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa (tone-portrayal Yellow-Pink), was made in 1943 during the artist’s exile in Amsterdam, where he fled after his work was classified as "degenerate art" by the Nazi governance. Hundreds of his workshops were sequestered from German galleries.

Beckmann gave the painting to his woman, Mathilde Kaulbach, who kept it until her death in 1986. The oil’s buyer remains unidentified. With the buyer’s decoration, the total price for the work came to about $24.4 million, according to the transaction house.

Artnet News reported that the oil portrait vended to an unidentified Swiss buyer over the phone. The trade marks only the alternate time the oil has changed hands since it was executed.

While Beckmann’s most honored workshops are tone-pictures, this one was unique in its oddity. Only five remain in private hands, according to Artnet. His tone-pictures, especially the ones painted while the artist was in exile, infrequently come up for trade.

The former record for a Beckmann tone-portrayal was formed at Sotheby’s in New York, where, in 2001, Selbstbildnis mit Horn (1938) vended for $22.5 million with freights, according to the Artnet Price Database. Catcalls Hell (1938 – 39) holds the record for the most precious work by Beckmann, dealing in 2017 for $44 million with freights at Christie’s London.

Before dealing at transaction, Selbstbildnis gelb-rosa was on view in New York.

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