"Letzte Unterschrift Kaiser Wilhelm I"
Oil on panel. 66 x 50.5 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: P. Beckert 1888.
Paul Beckert was taught in the Dresden and Munich academies. He married Anna Leontine von Frank in 1883, which gained him access to a broad network of patrons in the Prussian aristocracy. He portrayed Emperor William I and Field Marshall Moltke (now in the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz) among many others.
This image, which represents one of his most important historical compositions, bears the title "The Last Signature of Emperor William I". It records the moment in which the Emperor signed the papers enabling Bismarck to continue the running legislative period of the Reichstag on the day before his death aged 91. Alongside Bismarck and William, this painting also shows the Emperor's doctors and one of his manservants.
Private ownership, Germany.