Were it not for the fact that Beckmann himself named Bavaria as the locale, we would be tempted to think of the lake region of northern Italy, so happy is the mood of this sun-drenched watercolor. Light and transparent color, the composition nevertheless has the strength and compactness characteristic of the artist's work.
In 1930, Beckmann was in his middle forties. These were good years for the artist: several comprehensive one-man shows had just been held in Germany, and now Basel and Zürich were to follow, thus establishing Beckmann as one of the leading figures in the international art scene.
But already there could be heard the yapping, hateful voices of frustrated picture-postcard painters who ardently waited and prepared for the day when one of their kind would take over the reins of government, and close Germany's art galleries to giants like Beckmann, Nolde, Kokoschka.
Exiled first from his adopted city, later from his native country, Beckmann continued to paint, now, perhaps, with even greater insight and concentration. This was the phase of his career which saw the beginning of his series of great triptychs.
Referenced Work of Art
- Mountain Landscape: Bavaria Max Beckmann, 1930. Pen and watercolor 24 1/2” x 19”. Bequest of Mrs. Charles C. Webber 1951.