The Night

Topics: French Revolution, Western painting, Expressionism Pages: 1 (272 words) Published: June 5, 2013
My featured painting today entitled The Night was painted by Max Beckmann during 1918 and 1919. It is housed at the Kunstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf. This is an early example of Beckmann’s grotesque and appalling visionary paintings with its misshapen figures. Before us we have an overcrowded room in a modern city. Beckman himself said he wanted this work to be looked upon as a large modern history painting tinged with a sense of evil. Three men have invaded the room and are terrorising the occupants. The man to the left has been hung by the neck by one of the intruders while a man with a bandaged head, wearing waistcoat and tie and smoking a pipe, twists his arm. Two women can also be seen in the scene. One, in the central foreground with her back to us, possibly the man’s wife, wears red stockings and is bound to a post after having been raped. The second woman whose feet we can just make out at the top right of the painting, is held upside down by a man whose hat resembles the type worn by Lenin. To the right a blonde-haired child is about to be dragged off. Under the table we see an old phonograph, the sound from which may have been used to blot out the cries from those being tortured. Also partly under the table on the left we see a dog whose head is raised as he howls for help. This is a scene of urban hell, an unfathomable and vile scene. In his book Max Beckmann, Stephen Lackner commented on this work saying:
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