I don't know the title of this Beckmann painting, but it's apparent, to the one who gives a few more seconds' pure observation, that it is of Christ expelling the demons from the Magdalene.
Beckmann is not here describing or illustrating a Gospel scene though. He rejects sinuous, nimble lines and balanced spaces and shows his spite for the too deft, too intuitive hand, that so easily turns out an oh-so-carefully manicured beauty. He renders down and compresses; makes the picture plane one solid unit. You're on your own here; the artist is not going to help you.
He does you the service of not getting in the way, paradoxically by going at it from his own unique muscularity, going ahead as it were, like a dynamiter hewing out a path through stone, and letting you do the fine tuning.
Look how serene and immovable Christ is: he is the very cornerstone of the painting's composition. Look at the Magdalene, in the instant of her release: her hands in something like the Orans position, illuminated by Christ's light. And look at those demons! These are not flighty ghosts, but contorted, nasty, massive figures now revealed with the withdrawing of a thin partition.
"My heart beats more for a raw, average vulgar art, which doesn't live between sleepy fairy-tale moods and poetry but rather concedes a direct entrance to the fearful, commonplace, splendid and the average grotesque banality in life." --Max Beckmann