Collection Online

Forest and sun
(Forêt et soleil)
(c. 1926-1927)

oil on canvas
22.0 × 27.0 cm
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
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1955
© Max Ernst/ADAGP, Paris. Licensed by Copyright Agency, Australia
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Subjects (general)
Abstract Art
Subjects (specific)
forests (cultural landscapes) orange (colour) solar radiation Sun (star) texture (artistic concept) yellow (colour)

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.