Café Music




Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Cafémusik, drypoint, 1918, signed lower right and inscribed (Concertkaffee) and dated lower left in pencil. Reference: Hofmaier 130/III/B/a. From the portfolio Faces (Gesichter). Edition 100 (including 40 printed before steel-facing on laid ”Japan” paper [this example], and 60 printed after steel-facing, plus 3 known state proofs and 3 known trial proofs.  Published 1919 by the Marées Gesellschaft, R. Piper and Co., Munich; printer Franz Hanfstaengl, Munich. 12 3/8 x 9 1/8, the sheet 15 1/8 x 12 inches.

With the blindstamp of Marées Gesellschaft bottom right.

A very fine impression.

In the booklet accompanying the portfolio Gesichter this print is given the title Cafémusik; Beckmann’s annotation Konzertkaffee is one of several examples where the titles differ from those written on the plates. The plates of Gesichter were made in the period from 1914-1918, not with any portfolio in mind, so there was no particular order to the plates within the portfolio (Cafémusik was number 9).  The selection of plates for inclusion was made by Beckmann and the eminent art critic Julius Meier-Graefe, who was one of Beckmann’s early and constant supporters. The plates are not all faces (although Cafémusik has its share), but are all strongly autobiographic in character.



Beckmann – Cafemusik, detail