Schlangenbeschwörerin. 1950. Bronze with dark brown patina. Numbered "0/2" and inscribed "R.B.W." on stand. Presumably one of 5 authorized copies. 13.9 x 37.4 x 12.6 cm (5.4 x 14.7 x 4.9 in). Cast by bronz foundry Roman Bronze Works, New York (with stamp "R.B.W.“). This is one of just 8 sculptures in Max Beckmann's oeuvre. To date only one other copy of the "Schlangenbeschwörerin" has been offered on the international auctions market (source: www.artprice.com).
We are grateful to Mrs. Mayen Beckmann, Cologne, for her kind expert advice. The work will be included into the forthcoming catalog raisonneé of bronzes.
PROVENANCE: Private collection USA. Private collection Southern Germany.
EXHIBITION: Max Beckmann, Catherine Viviano Gallery, New York 1959. (presumably different copy) Max Beckmann, exhibition Catherine Viviano Gallery, New York 1962, no. 11 (possibly our copy). Beckmann. A Retrospektive, ex. cat. The Saint Louis Art Museum; County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1984/85, illu. on p. 139 (presumably different copy). Max Beckmann, Galleria Nazionale d`Arte Moderna, Rome 1996, cat. no. 6, with illu. on pp. 164-165 (presumably different copy). Max Beckmann, 8 Bronzen, Städel Museum, Frankfurt a. M. 2008, illu. pp. 24/25 (different copy).
LITERATURE: Sabine Schulze, Acht Bronzen, in: Max Beckmann: 8 Bronzen, ex. cat. Städel Museum Frankfurt a. M. 2008, pp. 8-25, with illu. on pp. 24/25 (different copy). "If you take all this - war or just life itself - as only one scene in the theater of infinity, it is much easier to bear." Max Beckmann, diary entry on September 12, 1940, quote after Max Beckmann: 8 Bronzen, ex. act. Kat. Städel Museum Frankfurt a. M. 2008, p. 53.