Max Beckmann Prunier 1944

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Artwork details

Artist
Max Beckmann 1884–1950
Title
Prunier
Date 1944
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1003 x 768 mm
frame: 1146 x 914 x 73 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1979
Reference
T02395
Not on display

Display caption

This work depicts the famous Parisian restaurant Prunier. Beckmann had frequented the restaurant in the early 1930s, but at the time of this work he was living in exile in German-occupied Amsterdam. Wartime conditions were spartan. This may account for Beckmann calling the picture ’Gobblers’ in his diary, and for the brutality with which his figures devour luxurious seafood. Beckmann suffered from heart trouble shortly after beginning the painting, so that the contrast between his daily, wartime realities and the sensual pleasure conjured up in the painting may suggest a meditation on mortality.

July 2008

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