Perry T. Rathbone

Max Beckmann (German, 1884–1950)


165.1 x 90.01 cm (65 x 35 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





Perry T. Rathbone was one of Beckmann’s early supporters and a loyal friend. He helped arrange for Beckmann to teach at the School of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and organized the first American retrospective of the artist’s work in 1948. That year, he also sat for this portrait. Here Beckmann captures a young Rathbone, then serving as director of the St. Louis Art Museum. Rathbone went on to direct the MFA from 1955–72; he later gave the painting to the Museum.


Signed and dated at lower right: Beckmann St. L 48


November 20, 1948, sold by the artist to Perry T. Rathbone (b. 1911 - d. 2000), St. Louis and Boston [see note 1]; 1992, gift of Perry T. Rathbone to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 23, 1992)

[1] The portrait of Rathbone was executed between October and November, 1948. On its progress and acquisition (as recorded by Beckmann), see Erhard Göpel and Barbara Göpel, Max Beckmann: Katalog der Gemälde (Bern, 1976), vol. 1, cat. no. 773, pp. 465-466. Rathbone, director of the MFA from 1955 until 1972, was a friend and supporter of the artist.

Credit Line

Gift of Perry T. Rathbone


© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.