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    Max Beckmann self-portrait sold at auction for USD20.7M

    BERLIN (AP) – A self-portrait painted during World War II by German expressionist artist Max Beckmann sold on Thursday in Berlin for EUR20 million (USD20.7 million), a price that appears to be a record for an art auction in Germany.

    The buyer of Beckmann’s Self-Portrait Yellow-Pink at the Grisebach auction house in the German capital wasn’t identified. Bidding started at EUR13 million (about USD13.7 million).

    Factoring in additional costs, the buyer will have to pay out EUR23.2 million (about USD24.4 million).

    Beckmann was born in Leipzig in 1884. He was among the artists whose work was classified as “degenerate art” in 1933, and hundreds of his works were seized from German museums. He emigrated to Amsterdam, where in 1943 he painted the somber self-portrait that was auctioned off on Thursday. Beckmann gave the painting to his wife, Mathilde Kaulbach, who kept it until her death in 1986.

    Beckmann moved to the United States in 1947 and died in New York in 1950. According to German media, the EUR9.5-million sale last year of a 15th-Century bronze sculpture had held the art auction record in Germany.

    That beat the EUR4.7 million for which another Beckmann painting, The Egyptian, was sold at Grisebach in 2018.

    Auctioneer Markus Krause gestures in front of the painting ‘Self-Portrait Yellow-Pink’, 1943 oil on canvas, by German painter Max Beckmann, as it is auctioned in Berlin, Germany. PHOTO: AP
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