Beckmann self-portrait sets record with €20 million at Berlin auction

1 min read
01 December 2022, Berlin: Markus Krause leads the auction of the painting "Self-Portrait yellow-pink" by Max Beckmann at the auction house Villa Grisebach. Credit line: Britta Pedersen / DPA / Profimedia

German artist Max Beckmann’s “Self-Portrait Yellow and Pink” was sold for €20 million ($21 million) at an auction in Berlin on Thursday.

The 1943 work by the Expressionist painter and sculptor had previously been estimated by the Grisebach auction house to be worth €23 million.

The auction had started at €13 million and reached seven-figure increments after three-and-a-half minutes. Including incidental costs, the auction house said it expects to earn €23.2 million.

The purchaser will take it to a Swiss collection. No other information about the buyer was available.

It is the highest auctioned price for a work of art in Germany to date.

The previous record had been held by another Beckmann work, “The Egyptian,” which went for €4.7 million in 2018.

The work by Beckmann (1884-1950) comes from a Swiss private collection. He gave it to his wife Mathilde “Quappi” Kaulbach, who kept it until her death in 1986.

The artist painted the work during his exile in Amsterdam, where he had emigrated after the Nazis took power in Germany. In the painting itself, however, there are no direct references to the political situation at that time. ©dpa

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