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Das Karusell (The Carousel), plate 7 from the series Jahrmarkt (The Annual Fair)

Max%20Beckmann%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Das%20Karusell%20%28The%20Carousel%29%2C%20plate%207%20from%20the%20series%20Jahrmarkt%20%28The%20Annual%20Fair%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201921%3B%20printed%201922%2C%20drypoint%20on%20Japanese%20paper%20on%20beige%2C%20medium%2C%20smooth%20wove%20paper%2C%20Museum%20Purchase%3A%20Helen%20Thurston%20Ayer%20Fund%2C%20%26%23169%3B%20artist%20or%20other%20rights%20holder%2C%2046.40
Max Beckmann, Das Karusell (The Carousel), plate 7 from the series Jahrmarkt (The Annual Fair), 1921; printed 1922, drypoint on Japanese paper on beige, medium, smooth wove paper, Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund, © artist or other rights holder, 46.40

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Details
Title

Das Karusell (The Carousel), plate 7 from the series Jahrmarkt (The Annual Fair)

Related Titles

series (original language): Jahrmarkt

series (translated): The Annual Fair

Artist

Max Beckmann (German, 1884-1950)

Date

1921; printed 1922

Medium

drypoint on Japanese paper on beige, medium, smooth wove paper

Edition

edition of 75

Dimensions (H x W x D)

plate: 11 3/8 in x 10 1/4 in; sheet: 15 7/8 in x 13 1/8 in

Inscriptions & Markings

blindstamp: [image of naked man holding onto an eagle], embossed, lower left

signature: Beckmann, graphite, lower left

inscription: 46.40, graphite, lower left

Collection Area

Graphic Arts

Category

Prints

Object Type

intaglio print

Culture

German

Credit Line

Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund

Accession Number

46.40

Copyright

© artist or other rights holder

Terms

carousels

children

drypoint

drypoints

intaglio printing

intaglio prints

Japanese paper

Description

Max Beckmann's favorite theme in his paintings and graphic art was the carnival. Witness to the extraordinary horrors of World War I, the artist used the subject to represent life's absurdity in a meaningless, chaotic universe. His most extensive engagement with this theme is the series Jahrmarkt (The Annual Fair). The suite of drypoints allegorizes the carnival as a theater of life. In the frontispiece, Beckmann appears as a barker advertising the show.

In this work, the artist depicts himself among four riders on a distorted carousel, grimacing over his shoulder at us. Barely contained by the printing plate, the crowded composition is dizzying. He reverses the roles of grown-ups and children: two youths watch adults whiz by on menacing animals that appear more alive than fabricated. Mocking masks and the carousel's strange, upward tilt add to the unsettling, dreamlike interplay.

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