Wolfgang Beltracchi, 2017
Artistic voice: Max Beckmann, 1947/48, Saint Louis
Oil on canvas, 140 x 180 cm

»The murder of Rosa Luxemburg is an example of just how delicate our veil of civilisation is. Many other political murders remained unatoned during the years of revolution following the First World War and presented the Weimar Republic with significant issues right from the start. And even though the road to Nazi dictatorship was by no means inevitable, the murders were indicative of the danger.«

Dr. Florian Weis, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin

In 1919, the leaders of Germany’s Communist Party, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, were murdered by right-wing militia, sanctioned by the Social Democratic government. Max Beckmann recorded the event in a lithograph. Based on this, “Eden” reflects once again on the original sin of the Weimar Republic. Beckmann, who was living in America in 1947, finds himself in the midst of the murderers and torturers, as a seemingly uninvolved observer. “Eden”, the name of the hotel where Luxemburg was tortured before her death, is in stark contrast to the horrific end of a political utopia. – With his unmistakable artistic voice that transcends any ‘isms’, Max Beckmann represents the diversity of styles in the 20th century.