In a previous Max Beckmann post some dear person linked to an ArtTube video in the comment box. In this video, Annemarie Lütjens, the infant in this previously featured painting, Portrait of the family Lütjens,
is interviewed, giving memories and talking about her family's relationship with Beckmann.
What I found startling was how quickly one can connect the woman in the video with the infant in the portrait. One can understand if a person, however many years down the road, didn't quite resemble their portrait as an infant; you could take that person's word for it. But to so easily see the resemblance, having only first seen that person's painted profile as a one-year-old, and then seeing her real face over fifty years later? That's how well Beckmann captured not just a person's physical likeness, but the self.
Also interesting is to learn how Beckmann painted a portrait; not having the people sit for him during the painting, but following them around, drawing them first. After all that gestation, then he would paint, with the sketches, but not with the people present.