inscribed (diagonally) in black paint on reverse u.c.: max ernst inscribed in black paint on reverse u.l.: a madame EVELYNE BO(...illeg.) RIV / très amical souvenir (...illeg.) / max ernst inscribed (vertically) in black paint on reverse u.r.: max ernst
Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery Level 2, NGV International
Forests and suns are central to Ernst’s personal symbolism, which coalesced between 1925 and 1928 during three crucial years of experimentation. In this period Ernst developed the technique of grattage (scraping), in which the forms of objects placed beneath a canvas are revealed by scratching with a palette knife across the paint surface. By also using collage (pasting) and frottage (rubbing), Ernst combined elements of the external world in unexpected and poetic ways, resulting in surrealist ‘landscapes of the mind’. This painting belongs to Ernst’s first series of forest and sun images. Its solar form reigning over a vegetal world with primal force is often linked to Romanticism.