Special exhibition: Max Beckmann

Heinrich Viktor Simon

Painting: Max Beckmann, Portrait of Heinrich Simon
Max Beckmann: Portrait of Heinrich Simon, 1927 and 1947
Mr. M. R. Pomice New York, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Special exhibition: Max Beckmann

Heinrich Viktor Simon

Bornon 31 July 1880 in Berlin, Germany
Diedon 6 May 1941 in Washington D. C., United States of America
ExileFrance, Great Britain (United Kingdom), Palestine, United States of America
ProfessionJournalist, Publicist

Heinrich Simon and his wife Irma were among Max Beckmann’s most important friends and supporters in Frankfurt. The painter took part regularly in the Friday meetings at the house of the Editor-in-Chief of the Frankfurter Zeitung and at times even resided with the Simons. Heinrich Simon was a fan of Beckmann’s art, owned several of his works and also wrote about the artist.

Not least because he believed the Frankfurter Zeitung could survive under the Nazis without him – Simon was Jewish – did he emigrate in 1934 via Paris to Palestine and London and ultimately to the USA. When Beckmann travelled to England in the summer of 1938 accompanied by Stephan Lackner to attend the exhibition Twentieth Century German Art at the city’s New Burlington Galleries, they were met at Liverpool Street Station by Heinrich Simon, who was living there at the time.

After that Beckmann only had indirect contact with Simon when Lackner met the latter in 1939 in New York. In 1945, upon hearing from Helmuth Lütjens about Heinrich Simon‘s tragic death (he was the victim of an unresolved murder), Beckmann decided to revise the portrait of the publisher he had painted in 1927, giving him an entirely new expression.