Max Ernst

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Max Ernst (left) with Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt in his Olympic quarters in Feldafing , 1972Signature of Max Ernst

Max Ernst (born April 2, 1891 in Brühl (Rhineland), † April 1, 1976 in Paris , France ), actually Maximilian Maria Ernst , was an important painter , graphic artist and sculptor of German origin, who received American citizenship in 1948 and French citizenship in 1958 was awarded.

After military service in World War I , he founded the Cologne Dada group in 1919 together with Johannes Baargeld and Hans Arp . In 1922 he left his family behind and moved to Paris, where he joined the circle of surrealists around André Breton and became one of the most important members in the artistic field of the surrealist movement. At the beginning of the Second World War he was interned several times in France from 1939 onwards, was able to flee with the art patron Peggy Guggenheim , who would later become his third wife, and, like many other European artists, chose the USA as an exile in 1941 . In 1953 he returned to France with his fourth wife, the painter Dorothea Tanning .

With his paintings, collages and sculptures, the artist created enigmatic combinations of images, bizarre creatures that often depict birds, and fantastic landscapes. In addition to his artistic work, Max Ernst wrote poems and autobiographical and art theoretical writings. Artist books occupy a large part of his work. The techniques of frottage , grattage and drip painting , developed as oscillation , go back to him. Applied by Jackson Pollock , drip painting became part of American abstract expressionism .


Childhood and youth

Philipp Ernst: Max Ernst as Child Jesus , 1896
Max Ernst's birth house in Brühl, Schloßstraße 21
Max Ernst in the Brühl Castle Park, 1909

Max Ernst was the third of nine children of the deaf-mute teacher and lay painter Philipp Ernst (1862–1942) and his wife Luise, née. Kopp (1865–1949) was born. His first contact with painting was through his father. He painted his five-year-old son as a baby Jesus in 1896 .

In 1942, while in exile in America, Max Ernst published an autobiographical text in the art magazine View , in which he describes his magical relationship with birds: his birth from a bird egg that his mother had laid in an eagle's nest and the connection between the death of his favorite bird, the pink one cockatoos Hornebom, and the same as experienced birth of his youngest sister Apollonia (called Loni) in 1906. Max Ernst's account of the meeting of the two events is fictional, the cockatoo lived after the birth of her sister some time on. Max Ernst, shaped by these ideas, developed the "Vogelobren Hornebom" and "Loplop" as an alter ego in his work . In the later work the artist appears as "Schnabelmax". Bird-like creatures appear in many of his paintings, especially in the series Loplop presented from the 1930s.

After graduating from high school in Brühl, he first studied classical philology , philosophy , psychology and art history at the University of Bonn from 1910 to 1914 . Philosophers whom the student Ernst valued were Novalis , Hegel and the "great critics of the one-dimensional thinking of the 19th century, Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche ". While studying psychology, he came into contact with the writings of Sigmund Freud and dealt with the art of the mentally ill.

Max Ernst often visited the museum in Cologne and was interested in the Flemish masters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel as well as in German Romanticism , especially Caspar David Friedrich . Two landscapes from 1909 have survived that show his admiration for Vincent van Gogh . In 1911 he became friends with August Macke and decided the following year, encouraged by the recognition and support of Macke's circle of friends, to become an autodidact painter.

First successes as an artist

Max Ernst had his first exhibition in 1912 in the Feldmann Gallery in Cologne . At the international art exhibition of the Sonderbund Westdeutscher Kunstfreunde und Künstler zu Cöln in the same year he saw works by important artists such as Paul Cézanne , Pablo Picasso , Henri Matisse and Edvard Munch .

In 1912/1913 Max Ernst wrote art and theater reviews for the Bonn vernacular and in 1913 took part in the exhibition Rheinische Expressionisten in Bonn. During a trip to Paris in the same year he met Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and in 1914 Hans Arp , with whom he had a lifelong friendship. Also in 1913 Max Ernst was represented with two works (No. 129: Sturm ; No. 130: Promenade ) at the First German Autumn Salon in the Berlin gallery "Der Sturm" by Herwarth Walden , in whose gallery a second exhibition of his works took place in March 1916 In 1917 the exhibition, also organized by Walden, followed in the Zurich “Galerie Dada”.

Use in the First World War

Hanns Bolz : Louise Straus-Ernst , before 1918

From August 1914 to November 1918 Ernst served in France and Poland during World War I. In 1918 he was promoted to lieutenant against his will. On October 7, 1918, shortly before the end of the war, he married his college friend, the art historian Luise Straus , the daughter of the Jewish hat manufacturer Jacob Straus, in Cologne in a war ceremony . Their son Hans-Ulrich, who later became known as a surrealist painter in the USA under the name Jimmy Ernst , was born in 1920. He perceived the return from the war as a rebirth:

"Max Ernst died on August 1st, 1914. He returned to life on November 11th, 1918 as a young man who hoped to become a magician in order to find the myths of his time."

Dada and Surrealism in Cologne and Paris

Founding of the Cologne-based Dada group

Title page of Der Ventilator , Cologne 1919

Disgusted by the "big mess of this stupid war", Max Ernst founded the Cologne Dada group in 1919 with the nickname "minimax dadamax" he invented himself, together with Johannes Theodor Baargeld , the "Zentrodada", and Hans Arp, the Cologne Dada group , in which his wife Luise Straus - Was seriously involved. In February and March of that year, five more editions of the weekly Der Ventilator , edited by Baargeld with the assistance of Max Ernst, were published after a double issue. Further editions were banned.

In the summer of 1919 Ernst went to Munich with Baargeld and visited Paul Klee there . In the Munich book and art shop of Hans Goltz , he discovered works by Giorgio de Chirico in the magazine Valori Plastici , which impressed him so much that he bought the graphic portfolio Fiat modes - pereat ars with the means of financial support for unemployed artists Heinrich Hoerles Schloemilch-Verlag brought out. Also in 1919, the artists' association Das Junge Rheinland was founded in Düsseldorf , and he was one of its members. Its focus was Johanna Ey's gallery , which supported Ernst's work with exhibitions. In November of that year, an exhibition of the Dadaists took place in the premises of the Kölnischer Kunstverein , which was closed by the British military government, under which the Rhineland was after the First World War .

Friends of Max Ernst before the exhibition in the Parisian gallery Au Sans Pareil, 1921. Philippe Soupault is standing on the ladder with his bicycle, Jacques Rigaut hanging
upside down , André Breton on the right on the ladder .

In 1920 the "Zentrale W / 3" was founded, the "Weststupidien 3" were Arp, Baargeld and Ernst, who in February published the magazine die schammade. (Dilettantes stand up!) . The French staff included André Breton , Paul Éluard and Louis Aragon . The second Cologne Dada exhibition was shown in April 1920 under the title Dada-Vorfrühling in the Brauhaus Winter. Together with Hans Arp he created the collages collectifs , jokingly called Fatagaga (Fabrication de tableaux garantis gazometriques). The exhibition aroused public resentment, was temporarily closed by the police and led to a break with Ernst's father. From the end of June 1920, the artist and Baargeld were represented with works at the First International Dada Fair in Berlin. A year later, while on vacation in Tarrenz , Tyrol, he met Tristan Tzara , Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber and André Breton , among others . At the invitation of Breton, he had his first exhibition in the Parisian gallery Au Sans Pareil in May / June 1921, but he was not present. The catalog included the collage The hat makes the man . In autumn 1921 the writer Paul Éluard and his wife Gala were guests of Max Ernst in Cologne for a week. Éluard spontaneously acquired the early Surrealist paintings Celebes and Oedipus Rex from him .

Move to Paris

The home of the Éluards in Eaubonne

In August 1922, after a second stay in Tarrenz, the artist finally moved to Paris and left his family. Éluard had sent him his own passport since Ernst had not received a visa, and Max Ernst lived with the Éluard couple. For almost two years he had to do odd jobs because he couldn't make a living from his painting. His work The Rendezvous of Friends from 1922 was presented in the “ Salon des Indépendants ” the following year . In 1923 the Éluard couple moved into a house in Eaubonne near Paris, where Ernst painted a cycle of 15 pictures with grotesque mythical creatures and paradisiacal gardens on the doors. They were pasted over by the residents, rediscovered in 1969, restored by the artist himself and transferred to canvas. Below that was the mural At the First Clear Word , which today belongs to the North Rhine-Westphalia art collection . Ernst fell in love with Gala, and Éluard, who had initially tolerated the liaison, fled the ménage à trois to Saigon in 1924 . Gala and Max Ernst followed him. He secured the money for the trip by selling his Parisian paintings to Johanna Ey . While the Éluards were returning to Paris, Ernst did not return home until three months later. Gala later married Salvador Dalí .

André Breton, 1924

From 1924 Ernst was already one of the most important members of the surrealist group around André Breton . In that year Breton wrote the Manifeste du Surréalisme , in which he defined surrealism as a "pure psychological automatism". The organ of the group was the magazine La Révolution surréaliste , in which works by Ernst were included.

Les Fusains, 22, rue Tourlaque, Paris

In 1925 Ernst moved into his first studio in Les Fusains at 22, rue Tourlaque, Paris. A contract concluded that year with the collector Jacques Viot ensured him a regular income, and exhibitions in Parisian galleries followed. From 1925 he made his first works in the frottage technique he had invented , which were published in his book Histoire naturelle in 1926, and developed the painting technique of the grattage . These techniques now determined his typical style. He worked with Joan Miró on the sets and costumes for Dyagilev's ballet Romeo and Juliet , music by Constant Lambert , performed by the Ballets Russes . This collaboration provoked the protest of the surrealist group. His 1926 painting The Virgin Chastises the Child Jesus in Front of Three Witnesses , which was exhibited in the Salon des Indépendants and then in the Kölnischer Kunstverein , where it was to be removed , met with strong resistance, this time from clerical circles .

After the divorce from Luise Straus-Ernst in 1926, Ernst married the much younger Marie-Berthe Aurenche , the sister of the screenwriter Jean Aurenche , the following year . From the early 1930s, the couple moved into an apartment in the Montparnasse district at 26, rue des Plantes, where they were neighbors of Alberto Giacometti , who was occasionally allowed to store sculptures on the Ernsts' terrace. In 1930 Max Ernst took on the role of a robber captain in the controversial surrealist film The Golden Age (L'Âge d'Or) by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí . In the fall of 1933 he met the twenty-year-old artist Meret Oppenheim , with whom he had a love affair that lasted until the next year.

Habakuk 4/6 , created around 1934 after a visit to Giacometti in Maloja. Sculpture in the City Center, Marl

Max Ernst spent the summer of 1934 with Alberto Giacometti in his summer studio in Maloja ; Both artists transported granite blocks that were found in a river bed and washed round by the water in front of Giacometti's house. Ernst worked on these blocks as his first sculptural attempts, creating flat reliefs on them depicting flowers, birds and figures, the form of which he later did not continue. In 1936 Marie-Berthe Aurenche divorced.

Under the Nazi regime in Germany, Max Ernst's works were defamed , he himself was ostracized and in 1933 his art was classified as " degenerate ". In 1937 two of his pictures were shown in the Munich exhibition Degenerate Art . The painting The Beautiful Gardener (1923), exhibited in a room under the motto “Mockery of the German Woman”, has since been considered lost. This year, under the influence of the Spanish Civil War, the painting The House Angel (L'Ange du foyer) was created in three variations, in which a monster with bared teeth and extended claws threatens the earth. In the same year, he created sets for Alfred Jarry's drama Ubu enchainé , which was first performed 30 years after the author's death in the Comédie des Champs-Elysées on September 22, 1937.

In 1938 he took part in the trend-setting Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme in the Beaux-Arts gallery in Paris; Together with Salvador Dalí , he was a technical adviser and exhibited 14 paintings, plus a doll as an art object. However, the exhibition turned out to be the final manifestation of the surrealist movement. The political circumstances as well as the personal, politically motivated differences - between André Breton and Paul Éluard, who had approached Stalinism - prompted Éluard to resign from the surrealist group in the same year. Max Ernst and Man Ray joined him in solidarity.

Stay in the USA

Internment and escape to New York

Les Milles warehouse

The Second World War had a lasting impact on the artist's life: Ernst was interned in France in 1939 as an “ enemy German ”, first in the former prison of Largentière, then in the Les Milles camp, where he met Hans Bellmer . It was there that they created the joint mural Creations, the creatures of the imagination , and Bellmer created a portrait of Max Ernst, which was composed of painted bricks as a reference to the walls of the camp. Through the mediation of Éluard, he was released again at Christmas. He was arrested again the following year, this time by the Gestapo , but managed to escape. He could not stay in his house because his lover Leonora Carrington , with whom he had lived in Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche since 1938 , had fled and had "sold" it to a neighbor for a bottle of cognac in order to sell it before Rescue seizure.

Ernst fled to the United States via Spain and Portugal in 1941 with the art collector Peggy Guggenheim , who supported him financially. The escape helper was Varian Fry , head of the Emergency Rescue Committee . They reached New York's La Guardia Airport on July 14, 1941 , where they were greeted by Jimmy Ernst and old friends. Max Ernst was initially interned as an "enemy alien" by immigration officials in the fortress on Ellis Island , but released after three days. In December of that year - after the United States entered the war - Max Ernst and Peggy Guggenheim were married in New York .

Peggy Guggenheim in Marseille, 1937

In March 1942 Ernst took part in the group exhibition Artists in Exile at the Gallery Pierre Matisse . A photo shows him alongside 13 other artists such as Marc Chagall , Fernand Léger , Roberto Matta , Piet Mondrian , Kurt Seligmann , Yves Tanguy and the writer André Breton . The catalog appeared in May with a cover photo by Ernst for Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery , which opened in October 1942. In the same year he became editor of the magazine VVV with David Hare , Marcel Duchamp and André Breton , which played an important role in the spread of Surrealism in the United States. Also in 1942 Ernst took part in the exhibition First Papers of Surrealism in New York and began to work increasingly as a sculptor.

In a group exhibition in the New York bookstore Wakefield Betty Parsons showed a picture by Ernst painted using a new technique, at the time he called it abstract art, concrete art , later a young man, curiously observing the flight of a non-Euclidean fly . The technique - called drip painting or oscillation - caught the attention of some young American painters such as Jackson Pollock .

At the end of 1942 Ernst met the young American painter Dorothea Tanning , who was represented in Guggenheim's gallery Art of This Century in the exhibition Exhibition by 31 Women , and then separated from Peggy Guggenheim. In 1945/46 the invitation to participate in the Bel-Ami competition took place, which Ernst won with his painting The Temptation of St. Anthony .

Move to Sedona

Sedona landscape. The Ernst couple had a similar view from their house.

In 1946 a double wedding was celebrated: Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning as well as Man Ray and Juliet Browner were married in Beverly Hills . The couple then set out for Sedona in the Arizona desert and built a small, secluded house there called Capricorn Hill. The cement sculpture Capricorn was created there in 1948 . In the same year, Max Ernst obtained American citizenship. He came into contact with the indigenous people, the Hopi , and studied their art. He was particularly interested in the kachina dolls and the ceremonial masks. The geometrically stylized forms and the painting of the kachinas are reflected in his work.

On the occasion of Ernst's 60th birthday, his hometown Brühl organized the first major German retrospective in Augustusburg Castle in Brühl in 1951 , which was well attended but ended with a financial deficit. The Cologne gallery Der Spiegel took part in the exhibition, from which, from 1953, a lifelong business and friendship relationship between the gallery and Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning developed. Ernst asked his Cologne gallery owner Hein Stünke , the owner of the Der Spiegel gallery, for help in finding his divorce papers from his second marriage to Marie-Berthe Aurenche, which had been lost during the turmoil of World War II, who had asked the artist through her Paris lawyers to to resume marital intercourse and alimony. Hein Stünke commissioned the art collector and lawyer Josef Haubrich with the research, which was successful. In 1952 Ernst became a member of the Collège de 'Pataphysique , which was founded after the Second World War in honor of Alfred Jarry and Jarrys ' Pataphysik , the science of imaginary solutions. During the summer of that year he gave 30 guest lectures on "Fifty Years of Modern Art" at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu .

Last years in France

Plaque on 19 rue de Lille, the main residence of the Ernst couple in Paris since 1962

In 1953 Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning returned to Paris, where they moved back into their two attic rooms on Quai St. Michel. He worked as a neighbor of Constantin Brâncuși in a studio on Impasse Ronsin No. 11, which the American painter William Copley had made available to him. The Collège de 'Pataphysique in Paris awarded him the title “ Satrap ” in the same year .

At the 27th  Venice Biennale in 1954, Max Ernst was honored with the grand prize for painting, which led to his final exclusion from the group of surrealists. This year's grand prize for graphics went to Joan Miró , and that for sculpture to Hans Arp . The award ceremony led to international recognition and further honors.

In 1955 the couple moved to Huismes and lived in the house “Le pin perdu”, which has been open to the public since 2009 as “Maison Max Ernst”. He kept this country estate and apartment in Paris, but since 1964 he often stayed with his wife in the south of France in Seillans in the Var department in Provence for health reasons . In 1958 he became a French citizen.

Fontaine Max Ernst in Amboise (detail)

He resentfully refused the honorary citizenship, which Ernst's hometown Brühl offered him in 1966 at the age of 75, because the city had sold his gifted painting The Birth of Comedy (1947) in 1951 for 800 dollars. In addition, the city's poor treatment of Karl Seibt, the city co-organizer of the financially deficient Max Ernst exhibition of 1951, played a role. In connection with his rejection, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and private acquaintances accused him of having been able to save his first wife, Luise Straus-Ernst , who was Jewish and was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944 ; However, Ernst refused to take her into exile in America. The artist then took a position in the Stadtanzeiger with a letter and made it clear that his first wife had refused the offered remarriage, although she had given her the opportunity to take her with her.

Memorial plaque in the columbarium of Père Lachaise

In 1967 he created a fountain for the city of Amboise , which was inaugurated in 1968 as "Fontaine Max Ernst". The dispute between the artist and his hometown Brühl ended in 1971. Since this year the city has been awarding the “ Max Ernst Scholarship ” art prize for young artists who are still in training, and Ernst donated the figures for the fountain in front of the Brühl town hall.

In 1975, Max Ernst returned to Paris after suffering a stroke . He died one day before his 85th birthday, on April 1, 1976 in Paris and was buried in the columbarium of the Père Lachaise cemetery after his cremation . His wife Dorothea Tanning survived him by more than three decades. She died in New York in January 2012 at the age of 101. The son from his first marriage, Jimmy Ernst , died on February 6, 1984 in New York. His memoir, A Not-So-Still Life (German: Not exactly a still life. Memories of my father Max Ernst ), were published shortly before his death.

Honors and art prizes

Max Ernst, 1968

In 1946 Max Ernst won the Bel Ami competition with his painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony , and in 1954 at the 27th Venice Biennale he received the grand prize for painting. In 1958 he became a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, and in 1961 the New York Museum of Modern Art organized a Max Ernst retrospective. In the same year he received the Stefan Lochner Medal from the city of Cologne. In 1964 the government of North Rhine-Westphalia awarded him an honorary professorship, and in Hamburg he was honored with the Lichtwark Prize .

In 1966, at the age of 75, he was appointed officer of the Legion of Honor . In 1972 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bonn . At the age of 84, Ernst traveled in 1975 to the opening of the Max Ernst retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In the same year the retrospective opened its doors in the Grand Palais in Paris. In 1976 he was posthumously awarded the Goslarer Kaiserring , one of the most important international art prizes. In 1974 he was elected as an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters .

In the Federal Republic of Germany there are some streets that are named after Max Ernst, for example in Cologne and Bonn. His hometown Brühl dedicated Max-Ernst-Allee to him. The city of Paris named rue Max Ernst after him in 1990, located in the 20th arrondissement in the Quartier du Père-Lachaise.


Max Ernst renewed the language of painting in the 20th century in a revolutionary way. As an autodidact without academic training, he turned against the old concept of “talent” and praised the surrealism that attacked and destroyed the “fairy tale of creativity”. The Romantic painter , Caspar David Friedrich , whom he valued highly , had called upon his painterly contemporaries: “Close your physical eye so that you can see your picture first with your spiritual eye. Then bring to light what you saw in the dark, that it has an effect backwards Others, from the outside in ”. Max Ernst put it similarly: “The role of the painter is to encircle and project what he sees in himself”.

The early work until 1918

Ernst's early work is shaped by a variety of influences. As early as 1909, he oriented himself towards Vincent van Gogh (example: landscape with sun ) and was impressed by Georges Seurat , Henri Matisse , August Macke , Wassily Kandinsky and by Futurism . He processed experiences of war in strongly colored watercolors. The aim of the stylistic interplay was the conscious synthesis of the different genres, directions and epochs: Combinatorics became his design principle. But he was not only inspired by works of the avant-garde and old masters, but also by folk art and peasant painting.

Themes and techniques in Dada and Surrealism from 1919

With the use of the collage , Ernst created already in his Dadaist phase after the First World War from 1919 to 1921, in addition to some material collages, a large number of works from printed materials in which he cut out foreign material, for example drawings from catalogs, from textbooks from all fields of science or crochet templates confusing combined and newly glued or painted over.

The hat makes the man
Collage , 1920
Gouache, Indian ink, pencil, and oil on cardboard
35.2 x 45.1 cm
Museum of Modern Art , New York

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Loplop introduces Loplop
Collage , 1930
Oil and various materials on wood
100 × 180 cm
Private collection

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Light wheel
Frottage , 1926
Pencil on paper
25 × 42 cm
from the Histoire naturelle series

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The whole city
Grattage , 1935/36
Oil on canvas
60 × 81 cm
Kunsthaus Zurich , Zurich

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The bride's outfit
Décalcomanie , 1940
Oil on canvas
129.6 x 96.3 cm
Peggy Guggenheim Collection , Venice

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The confused planet
Oscillation , 1942
Oil on canvas
110 × 140 cm
Tel Aviv Museum of Art , Tel Aviv

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Surrealism and painting
Oscillation , 1942
Oil on canvas
195 x 233 cm
Menil Collection , Houston

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Vox Angelica
various techniques , 1943
Oil on canvas
152 × 205 cm
Privately owned

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The artist took over from Giorgio de Chirico , the main representative of Pittura metafisica , the idea of ​​putting together picture motifs in puzzling combinations in painting at an early stage; this idea was later adopted by the surrealists. It corresponded to the free association that Sigmund Freud used to expose the unconscious in the thoughts of his patients, which was expressed in dreams. In 1919, based on the Pittura metafisica, the painting Aquis submersus was created . The title is based on Theodor Storm 's novel of the same name. One of the best-known collages from the Cologne period is Der Hut macht den Mann from 1920, which was originally a print template for an advertising catalog for his father-in-law, who owned a hat factory. Celebes , created in Cologne in 1921, is the first work in the group of paintings that Max Ernst painted between 1921 and 1924 during the transition between Dada and Surrealism. The group portrait The Rendezvous of Friends was created in 1922 after Ernst moved to Paris

André Breton published his first surrealist manifesto in Paris in 1924. It was considered the beginning of the movement. The sentence, often quoted by the surrealists, "As beautiful as the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on the dissection table" comes from the songs of Maldoror (1868/69) by Lautréamont . Max Ernst varied it:

"Collage technique is the systematic exploitation of the accidental or artificially provoked meeting of two or more alien realities on an apparently unsuitable level - and the spark of poetry that skips when these realities approach."

The provocative depiction of the painting The Virgin chastises the baby Jesus in front of three witnesses: André Breton, Paul Éluard and the painter from 1926 is said to have been inspired by André Breton. From 1925 Max Ernst began to work with the artistic techniques of frottage for graphics and grattage for paintings. The techniques and work examples are described in more detail in the section “Max Ernst's inventions”. From 1927 onwards he created the first series of pictures of his bird and forest motifs, which run through his entire work. His first collage novel, La femme 100 têtes, based on illustrations from trivial novels of the 19th century with an introduction by Breton, was published by the Éditions du Carrefour in Paris in 1929.

Ernst's alter ego , the bird Loplop , runs through his work in different techniques and variants. He presented himself in various anthropomorphic formations, always standing on two legs, and the trunk serves like an easel as a presentation surface for the representation of different motifs. He combines various painting techniques with collage. One example is Loplop presents Loplop from 1930. In the series Loplop présente… from the 1930s onwards, such as Loplop présente la belle Saison , Loplop présente deux fleurs or Loplop présente le portrait de Marie-Berthe , predominantly pencil frottages were created.

From 1935 a major work in the technique of the grattage was created, The Whole City : It shows puzzling, ruin-like buildings reminiscent of fortresses or temples as a petrified city in which no life can be recognized. The artist began to work with the technique of décalcomanie from 1937 . The dress of the bride from 1940 shows a half-naked woman with a bird's head in a red floor-length cloak. The bird on the left, holding a spearhead, can be seen as the embodiment of the artist, while the bride could be seen as his mistress Leonora Carrington . In 1940/41 Marlene was also created ; the depicted woman, surrounded by bird creatures, has the facial features of Marlene Dietrich , who emigrated to the USA in 1937, and the subject probably refers to his own escape. He began painting Europe after the Rain II as a high point of working with this technique in France in 1940 and completed it in New York in 1942 after emigrating. It shows a landscape marked by devastation and death, the title of which evokes thoughts of the material and spiritual annihilations of war. In the painting Napoleon in the Wilderness (1941, MoMA, New York), which Max Ernst completed in Santa Monica, the artist processed his experiences of flight and exile, but also his unhappy relationship with Leonora Carrington. In 1942 he developed the technique of drip painting or oscillation , with which he created only a few pictures such as The Confused Planet . The automatism offered by the oscillation inspired young American artists to emulate, and Jackson Pollock in particular devoted himself to the development and refinement of this technique. Ernst stated it was a breeze:

“Tie an empty tin can on a string one or two meters long, drill a small hole in the bottom, and fill the can with liquid paint. Let the can swing back and forth at the end of the string over a flat canvas, guide the can by moving your hands, arms, shoulders and whole body. In this way surprising lines trickle onto the canvas. The game of thought connections can then begin ”.

The renewed connection to the surrealist group is documented in one of his main works, the painting Le Surréalisme et la peinture ( Surrealism and Painting , 1942), the title of which comes from Breton's essay of the same name from 1928. A kind of bird figure, represented with its brood, is painting on a picture on the easel that is created using the oscillation technique.

In 1943 Ernst Vox created Angelica ; The painting is 152 × 205 cm and is composed of 51 larger and smaller individual images. He painted it in the various techniques he used. Many experts see this work as a turning point in his work, from which a lighter and simpler visual language prevailed. The temptation of St. Anthony and a mathematical subject, the portrait of Euclid , emerged in 1945 as the high point of the New York era . In 1948 he created the Feast of the Gods , and around 1948 he painted Arizona desert after Rain , which shows the area around the house in Sedona, where he made his large sculpture Capricorn .

The late work from 1953

The garden of France
Oil on canvas
114 × 168 cm
Center Georges-Pompidou , Paris

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In 1953 Max Ernst returned to France from the USA. The return also marks the increase in his graphic production. It was shown in an exhibition in the Sprengel Museum , Hanover in 2012 under the title Max Ernst. Laurels and strawberries shown. Illustrations from the 1960s were followed by posters from the 1970s. Excerpts from his collage novel Lieux communs: Onze poèmes et douze collages from 1971 were present as screen prints. The Asian-looking lithograph Grand Palais was created in 1975, a year before Ernst's death.

Paintings include The Raft of Medusa (1955), The Garden of France (1962) and Return of the Beautiful Gardener (1967), the latter as a reminiscence of the lost picture The Beautiful Gardener from 1923, and Nothing Goes More (1973). In the painting The Garden of France (Le jardin de la France) the artist had overpainted a copy of the Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel in such a way that the erotic zones of the body of a headless woman - depicted between two rivers - dominate.

Even in the later years Ernst's work was not devoted to non-representationalism, as was the case with informal art , which was frequently represented during this period. He commented on these tendencies: "Total refusal to live like a tachist ."

Picturesque techniques

Max Ernst invented and used various semi-automatic techniques with which he created structures that inspired his imagination .

Self-invented techniques:

  • Frottage - A sheet of paper is placed on a structured surface. The structure is rubbed onto the paper with a pencil. - Example: Histoire naturelle (started from 1925). Frottage is a pictorial equivalent to the surrealist form of writing, called Écriture automatique .
  • Grattage - At least two coats of paint are applied to a canvas. The lower layer (s) is / are scratched free. - Examples: Bird Wedding (1925), Herringbone Flowers (1929), The Whole City (1935/36)
  • Oscillation - A box is provided with a hole, hung on a string above the canvas lying on the floor and filled with paint. When the can is set in motion, paint drips from the hole in circular paths onto the canvas. - Examples: The Confused Planet (1942), Young Man Troubled by the Flight of a Non-Euclidean Fly (1942 and 1947)

Other techniques used:

  • Collage - visual material is collected and / or cut out and reassembled on another image carrier . - Examples: Dadaist collage: the hat makes the man (1920), surrealist collage: LopLop introduces LopLop (1930), collage novels made of wood engravings : La femme 100 têtes (1929), Une semaine de bonté (1934)
  • Décalcomanie - rediscovered by Óscar Domínguez in 1935 . Thin paint is moved on the canvas with the help of a sheet of paper or a sheet of glass. This creates structures that are reminiscent of corals or moss. - Examples: Marlene (1940/41), The Bride's Dressing Up (1940), Europe after the Rain II (1940–1942), The Antipope (1941/42), The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1945)


On every birthday of his fourth wife Dorothea Tanning , Max Ernst created a declaration of love to show his attachment to her. The 36 D-Paintings for birthdays and in addition to weddings and silver weddings have been part of the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl since 2005 . The letter "D" is included in every work.

Lewis Carroll and Max Ernst

Max Ernst illustrated some of Lewis Carroll's works : La chasse au snark (1950, 8 illustrations), Logique sans peine (1966), The Hunting of the Snark (1968, 32 color lithographs) and Lewis Carroll's Wunderhorn (1970 , an anthology selected by Max Ernst and Werner Spies with 36 color lithographs). Among the Surrealists, Ernst and Salvador Dalí in particular felt encouraged in their search for the fantastic by Carroll's children's book Alice in Wonderland . The Hamburger Kunsthalle showed from June 2012 the exhibition Alice in Wonderland of Art . Ernst's painting Alice in 1941 was part of the exhibition.

Collage novels, painter's books

Max Ernst created three so-called "collage novels". The first was La femme 100 têtes, published in late 1929 with a foreword by André Breton . Rêve d'une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel followed in 1930 and Une semaine de bonté in 1934 . The collage novels, some of which contain text, are based on wood engravings from the 19th century, among others by Gustave Doré . Above all, the first two novels can be interpreted in many ways, they suggest an incoherent course of action through the sequence of images and legends. In terms of content, the repetition of certain motifs in text and images indicates the liberation from social, state or church oppression made possible by the visions of surrealism. The collage pictures from Une semaine de bonté were shown for the first time after 1936 in 2008 in the Albertina in Vienna. The exhibition was then taken over by the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl and the Hamburger Kunsthalle .

In 1922 the painter's book Les malheurs des immortels was published in the Librairie Six (Paris) with poems by Paul Éluard and Max Ernst as well as 21 illustrations by Ernst. Histoire naturelle followed in 1926 with 34 frottages and a foreword by Hans Arp , published in the Jeanne Bucher Gallery , Paris. It contained the artist's first frottage. Ernst explicitly referred to Leonardo da Vinci for its creation , in whose treatise on painting it was stated that “one can stimulate the mind to manifold inventions by looking into spotty walls, landscapes, battles and strange figures could possibly be made out in them ". Ernst remarked:

"On August 10, 1925, an unbearable visual compulsion brought me to discover the technical means to make this Leonardo's lesson largely a reality."

In 1953 Das Schnabelpaar appeared. Eight color etchings and a poem by Max Ernst published by Ernst Beyeler . Original edition as a cassette, printed by Lacourière in Paris, envelope made of printed parchment.

Schnabelpaar, "[...] and when they let it rain again over Europe, over Kafkasia and Kafkamerica, then Schnabelmax grabs the beak gods by the beak tail and shows them the way ..."

The book from 1964, Maximiliana ou l'exercice illégal de l'Astronomie, is considered to be the main work of the artist's late graphic works. The name goes back to the lithographer and self-taught astronomer Ernst Leberecht Tempel (1821-1889), who had long been misunderstood , and who discovered the asteroid (65) Cybele in 1861 and named it Maximiliana . Ernst's and Tempel's life paths show a lot in common, just like Ernst, the amateur astronomer had “no diploma”. The astronomer's first name was like the artist's last name "Ernst", and "Maximilian" was Ernst's baptismal name. The work contains loose double sheets with 34 etchings and 14 "writing sheets" by Max Ernst, some in color and with aquatint. The etchings are supplemented with typographically designed text based on Ernst Leberecht Tempel and Ernst's "secret script". The format is 43 × 32 × 3 cm. The typography comes from Iliazd , who published the book in Paris. In 1967 a film on the subject by Peter Schamoni followed with the participation of Ernst (see reception section).

Sculptural work

Max Ernst explained his relationship to sculpture to his early biographer Patrick Waldberg :

“Whenever I turn to plastic, I feel like I'm on vacation. Painting and playing chess require great concentration. When I work plastically, I relax. "

Max Ernst began to deal with sculpture in 1934 on the occasion of his visit to Alberto Giacometti in Maloja . But he remained the only surrealist sculptor for a long time before the Second World War, as Giacometti had already decided to return to the model a year later and Hans Arp, despite his involvement in Dada , tended to abstraction and the ideas of Brâncuși . As in painting, Ernst used improvised techniques: Oedipus (1934 in two versions), for example, was created with his two phallic forms from casting molds of sand buckets that were placed on top of each other in various combinations. Another early work is Habakuk (1934), which, despite an originally planned edition of ten versions, only exists in four bronze casts: in the Glaskasten Sculpture Museum in Marl , in front of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf , on the Yale University campus in New Haven on the way between Sterling Library and beincke library, in the grounds of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra .

His main work is the cement sculpture Capricorn , created in Sedona in 1948 , of which only fragments are left. The plaster model can be seen in the National Gallery in Berlin , and several bronze casts were made from the 1960s onwards. In addition to groups of sculptures such as Corps enseignant pour une école de tueurs (1967), the figure constellations for the fountains in Amboise (1968) and Brühl (1971) summarize the later sculptural work. A special feature was created in 1966: the passionate chess player created a chess game out of glass, which he called Immortel .

Reliefs and sculptures were created on his houses in Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche , Sedona , Huismes and Seillans .

Biographical Notes

In addition to writings on art theory such as Was ist Surrealismus from 1934 and Au-delà de la peinture from 1937, Max Ernst also wrote autobiographical texts. In 1948, Some Data on the Youth of Max Ernst appeared in the anthology Beyond Painting , and in 1962 his autobiography Biographische Notizen (fabric of truth and fabric of lies) as part of the exhibition catalog of the retrospective at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne . The subtitle “Tissue of Truth and Tissue of Lies” is obviously an allusion to Goethe's autobiography Poetry and Truth . Ernst varied and later added to the text several times. He wrote his résumé, in which he speaks of himself in the third person , according to surrealist standards and draws attention to his early childhood, myths and fairy tales, religious encounters and psychological peculiarities. With the subtitle “fabric of lies”, the artist refers to the occasional poetic interpretation and links between events and his pictures that are also incorrect chronologically. Possibly he wanted to ironize the self-portrayals of great men with his notes or to soothe the audience who felt alarmed by his pictures.


Representations of contemporaries

" The magician of barely noticeable displacements "

- René Crevel on Max Ernst, 1928

André Breton wrote in Le Surréalisme et la Peinture in 1928 that Max Ernst had “never deviated from the imperative need that Baudelaire demanded: to constantly 'find something new'. Of steadily growing strength in the last twenty years, his work as far as such a will is concerned is unequaled ”.

Max Ernst's friend, the writer Paul Éluard , pointed out in A L'Intérieur de la vue in 1948 that the artist identified himself with what he was showing. “By projecting his vision beyond this crude, callous reality that we should calmly accept, he leads us into a liberated world where we agree to everything, where nothing is incomprehensible.” Regarding Ernst's alter ego , he wrote poetically: "Devoured by feathers and left to the sea, he has translated his shadow into flight, into the flight of the birds of freedom."

Influence on abstract expressionism

In the 1940s there was an artistic turnaround in the United States which, after years of socially critical American realism, led to a new beginning - "the desire to start from scratch" ( Barnett Newman ) - abstract expressionism . Artists such as Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock , Mark Rothko , Clyfford Still and Franz Kline found their role models in Miró, Masson and Max Ernst, in their controlled psychological automatism , in controlled chance, not necessarily in their techniques. Pollock took over the technique of "oscillation" as drip painting from Max Ernst , expanded it and became known through this technique. He was then nicknamed "Jack the Dripper".

Later perception

The art historian Werner Spies , who met Max Ernst in 1966, wrote numerous works about him and published the catalog of works, said in an interview in 2005: “One can say that without Max Ernst, Surrealism would not have existed in this form at all. And the entire poetic and iconographic fund that the work of Max Ernst contained was based very heavily on German Romanticism, both in terms of literary tradition and that of the visual arts ”. He went on by recalling the hostility that had developed between the Germans and the French after World War I. In this situation, Max Ernst was lucky enough to have met artists in Paris in the 1920s with Bréton, Éluard, Aragon and Tzara who were not interested in a person's national origin. Éluard, for example, was one of those who had just faced the Germans in the trench of Verdun . The Parisian artists had discovered a real kindred spirit in Max Ernst, united by poetry, the addiction to overcoming causality and the pragmatic.

Films by Peter Schamonis with and about Max Ernst

Max Ernst was often involved in films in his life, for example in 1930 as a performer in L'Âge d'Or ; further films are listed under filmography . In 1963, the director Peter Schamoni shot a film in Huismes , where Ernst had lived since 1955, in honor of the artist with the title Max Ernst - Journeys of Discovery into the Unconscious . Another short film by Schamoni followed in 1967, which was shot in Seillans . It is entitled The Illegal Practice of Astronomy and is dedicated to Max Ernst, who not only co-wrote the script about the fate of the amateur astronomer Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel (1821–1889), but also acted as the speaker in the film. “He had genius, but no diploma,” Ernst summed it up, an affinity for his own life. For the 100th birthday of the artist, Schamoni made another film in 1991, Max Ernst: My vagabonding - My restlessness , which deals with Ernst's life and work.

Schools, museum and foundation with reference to Max Ernst

The Max Ernst Museum in Brühl

Since 1971, five years before his death, the city of Brühl, with the artist's approval at the time, has been awarding the Max Ernst Scholarship to promote young artists. In 1981, five years after his death, the municipal high school in his hometown of Brühl was renamed the Max-Ernst-Gymnasium . A comprehensive school in Cologne bears his name. The Max Ernst Society was founded in 2000 . In 2005 the city of Brühl opened the new Max Ernst Museum in honor of their great son . Werner Spies was the Chairman of the Foundation Council and the Board of Trustees of the Max Ernst Foundation . On July 1, 2012, in Ernst's birthplace, which was acquired in 2009, the city opened a fantasy laboratory attached to the museum with an adjoining extension that is available to the general public and schools.

Max Ernst on the art market

The spread of Max Ernst's work in the USA was largely promoted by the gallery owner Alexander Iolas , who relied on surrealist art from the 1930s / 1940s and ran René Magritte alongside Ernst .

In November 2011, Christie's auction house in New York set a world record for a work by Max Ernst. Instead of an estimated $ 4-6 million, the 1941 hammer for The Stolen Mirror fell at $ 16.3 million. An anonymous buyer from Europe auctioned the 65 × 81 cm oil painting. It combines a landscape painted as if in a dream with statuesque female nudes, wrapped in animals and plants. The Stolen Mirror initially belonged to surrealism collector Edward James . Then Ernst's son Jimmy Ernst bought it back and it stayed in the family. The secured provenance is significant, since there were negative reports about the forgery scandal of Werner Jäger's bogus collection, which was also related to Max Ernst . Between 1999 and 2004, seven pictures declared to be genuine by Werner Spies were unmasked as fakes by Wolfgang Beltracchi in 2011 , including La Mer and La Forêt II . There may be more fake works by Max Ernst.

Works (selection)


Illustrations and collage novels

  • 1919: Fiat modes, pereat ars . 8 original lithographs, Schloemilch-Verlag, Cologne
  • 1922: Les malheurs des immortels . Prose poems by Paul Éluard and Max Ernst as well as 21 illustrations by Ernst. Librairie Six, Paris
  • 1926: Histoire naturelle . With 34 frottages, Galerie Jeanne Bucher , Paris; New edition by Jean-Jacques Pauvert , Paris 1960.
  • 1929: La femme 100 têtes . Foreword by André Breton , Novel in 147 Pictures, Éditions du Carrefour, Paris. German at Verlag Gerhardt, Berlin 1962.
  • 1930: Rêve d'une petite fille qui voulut entrer au carmel , novel in 79 pictures, Éditions du Carrefour, Paris; New edition by Jean-Jacques Pauvert , Paris 1983. ISBN 2-7050-0481-5
  • 1930: Hans Arp : Poems: You know, you black. Five stickers by Max Ernst . Pra, Zurich 1930
  • 1934: Une semaine de bonté , novel with 182 collages, cassette with 5 booklets, Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris. German at Verlag Gerhardt, Berlin 1963.
  • 1938: Cover of Minotaure No. 11, edited by Albert Skira ( ill. )
  • 1953: The pair of beak. Eight color etchings and a poem , Ernst Beyeler , Basel
  • 1960: La nudité de la femme est plus sage que l'enseignement du philosophe , essay with 11 etchings, Gonthier-Seghers, Paris; English: The nudity of women is wiser than the teaching of the philosopher , Verlag Galerie Der Spiegel , 1962.
  • 1961: Nine pictures . Verlag Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
  • 1962: Paul Éluard : Répétitions . With collages by Max Ernst. German and French. Verlag Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
  • 1963: Hans Neuenfels : Oral age . (Poems) with drawings by Max Ernst. Verlag Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
  • 1964: Paramyths . Poems and collages. Verlag Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
  • 1964: Maximiliana ou L'exercice illégal de l'astronomie . Artist's book with color etchings, published by Iliazd , Le Degré Quarante et Un, Paris
  • 1965: Twenty-two microbes . With texts by Hans Arp and Albrecht Fabri . Verlag Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
  • Schnabelmax and nightingale. Texts and pictures . Revised reprint, Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-89401-488-9
  • Illustrations for works by Lewis Carroll : La chasse au snark (1950, 8 illustrations), Logique sans peine (1966), both Paris. The Hunting of the Snark ( Stuttgart 1968, 32 color lithographs) and Lewis Carrols Wunderhorn (Stuttgart 1970, an anthology, selected by Max Ernst and Werner Spies with 36 color lithographs)

Sculptural work


  • 1934: what is surrealism? , Introduction to the exhibition catalog of the Kunsthaus Zürich
  • 1937: Au-delà de la peinture , published in a special issue on Max Ernst in Cahiers d'Art , Paris, edited by Christian Zervos
  • 1948: Beyond Painting, and other Writings by the Artist and His Friends , ed. by Robert Motherwell . Wittenborn / Schultz, New York. New edition Solar Art Directives 2009, ISBN 978-0-9799847-9-2
  • 1962: Biographical notes (fabric of truth and fabric of lies) , in: Max Ernst - Retrospective , exhibition catalog, ed. by HR Leppien, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum , Cologne
  • 1964: In this year Max Ernst's only drama guide was created , which was published a year later by the gallery Der Spiegel in Ernst's Histoire Naturelle (1926) in German. The edition consisted of 700 handwritten numbered copies.
  • 1970: Ecritures , compilation of texts, interviews and declarations (1921–1969) and 120 illustrations. NRF Point du Jour, Paris


Exhibitions (selection)

Page 3 of the catalog for Max Ernst's first exhibition in Paris, 1921
Title page of the catalog for the exhibition, Paris 1938


Catalogs and work descriptions

  • Werner Spies (Ed.): Max Ernst Œuvre catalog , six volumes, together with Sigrid and Günter Metken ; the graphic work was edited by Helmut R. Leppien . DuMont, Cologne 1975–1976, reprint 2004, ISBN 978-3-8321-7418-7 . Volume 7 works 1964–1969 was published in 2007 by the same publisher under ISBN 978-3-8321-7606-8 .
  • Werner Spies (Ed.): Max Ernst. Collages. Inventory and contradiction . DuMont, Cologne 1988, ISBN 3-7701-2288-7 .
  • Jürgen Pech (Ed.): Max Ernst. Graphic worlds . DuMont, Cologne 2003, ISBN 978-3-8321-7322-7
  • Brusberg Documents 25 Homage to Max Ernst. Pictures and sheets of the early years. Les labyrinthes ne sont pas faits pour les chiens Edition Galerie Brusberg, 1990, ISBN 3-87972-070-3
  • Roland Penrose : Max Ernst's Celebes . University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1972
  • Max Ernst: Beyond painting. The graphic oeuvre. Published as Brusberg Documents 3 for the exhibition at the Kestner Museum Hannover from April 16 to July 15, 1972, ISBN 3-87972-016-9


  • Ulrich Bischoff : Max Ernst 1891–1976. Beyond painting . Taschen, Cologne 1988, ISBN 3-8228-0244-1 ; New edition 2005 ISBN 978-3-8228-6594-1 (This edition was cited.)
  • Ludger Derenthal u. a .: Max Ernst - Dream and Revolution , ed. by Werner Spies. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit 2008, ISBN 978-3-7757-2234-6
  • Jimmy Ernst : Not exactly a still life. Memories of my father Max Ernst , Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne, 1985 (Engl. Orig. 1984), as paperback 1991, ISBN 3-462-02154-0
  • Lothar Fischer : Max Ernst . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1969, ISBN 3-499-50151-1 .
  • Karoline Hille: Dangerous Muses: Women around Max Ernst . Edition Ebersbach, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-938740-36-1
  • Edward Quinn : Max Ernst . Texts by Max Ernst, Uwe M. Schneede, Patrick Waldberg, Diane Waldmann. Éditions Cercle d'Art, Paris 1976
  • Karl Riha and Jörgen Schäfer (eds.): Fatagaga-Dada. Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Johannes Theodor Baargeld and Cologne Dadaism . Anabas, Giessen 1995
  • John Russell: Max Ernst. Life and work . DuMont, Cologne 1966
  • Uwe M. Schneede : The history of art in the 20th century. From the avant-garde to the present . CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-48197-3 , pp. 91-95
  • Uwe M. Schneede: The art of surrealism: poetry, painting, sculpture, photography, film . CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-406-54683-9
  • Werner Spies: Max Ernst. Retrospective for the 100th birthday . Prestel, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-7913-1122-0 .
  • Werner Spies: Max Ernst. Life and work . DuMont, Cologne 2005, ISBN 978-3-8321-7521-4
  • Werner Spies: Vox Angelica. Max Ernst and the Surrealists in America . Hanser, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-446-24498-6
  • Werner Spies: Max Ernst and the Birth of Surrealism . CH Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-73521-9
  • Dorothea Tanning : Birthday - Memoirs. Lapis Press, 1986. German birthday - memoirs , from the American by Barbara Bortfeldt, Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Cologne 1991, ISBN 3-462-02155-9
  • Patrick Waldberg : Max Ernst . Éditions Jean-Jacques Pauvert , Paris 1958
  • Eva Weissweiler : Notre Dame de Dada. Luise Straus - the dramatic life of Max Ernst's first wife. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2016, ISBN 978-3-462-04894-0
  • Jürgen Wilhelm (Ed.): About Max Ernst. Talks , Greven, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-7743-0431-4 .
  • Gabriele Wix: Max Ernst: painter. Poet. Writer . Fink, Paderborn 2009, ISBN 978-3-7705-4812-5
  • Gabriele Wix (Ed.): “Dip your finger into the sea of ​​ink”. Max Ernst and the book. Series of publications of the Art and Museum Library of the City of Cologne. Volume 7/2019. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-96098-510-5


Web links

Commons : Max Ernst  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Illustration of the birth certificate in Werner Spies: Max Ernst. Life and work . DuMont, Cologne 2005, p. 35.
  2. Max Ernst ,
  3. ( Memento from November 25, 2010 in the Internet Archive ): Tourism and Culture / Max Ernst, accessed on December 15, 2010.
  4. ^ Max Ernst: Some Data on the Youth of Max Ernst, as told by himself . In: Charles Henri Ford (ed.): View . Series 2, No. 1 . New York April 1942, p. 28-30 .
  5. The 2nd of April (1891) at 9:45 am Max Ernst had his first contact with the sensitive world, when he came out of his egg which his mother had laid in an eagle's nest and which the bird had brooded for seven years.
  6. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 9-16, 163.
  7. Rainer Zuch: Max Ernst, the "King of Birds" and the mythical animals of Surrealism. In: edoc server. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, February 2004, p. 2 ff. , Accessed on September 29, 2012 (offer full text PDF 2.6 MB). .
  8. Diether Rudloff: Unfinished Creation. Artist in the twentieth century . Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1982, p. 107.
  9. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 18-20.
  10. Max Ernst Biography. Guggenheim Museum, archived from the original on November 4, 2008 ; Retrieved November 9, 2008 . .
  11. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 22.
  12. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 21-22, 30-31.
  13. Luise Straus ,, accessed on May 10, 2012.
  14. Klaus von Beyme : The age of the avant-garde. Art and Society 1905–1955 . CH Beck, 2005, p. 582.
  15. Ludger Derenthal: Dada, the dead and the survivors of the First World War ,, accessed on June 12, 2012.
  16. Jürgen Pech: Max Ernst. Life and time. Episode 27 ( Memento from December 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed on May 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 32-39, 163.
  18. Cologneweb ,, accessed on 27 April 2012 found.
  19. Dada Vorfühling ,, accessed on 19 April 2012 found.
  20. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 41-45, 160.
  21. Uwe M. Schneede: The art of surrealism: painting, sculpture, poetry, photography, film. P. 36.
  22. ^ Max Ernst , exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler .
  23. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 58-63, 67, 160.
  24. Werner Spies: Max Ernst. Life and work . DuMont, Cologne 2005, p. 97.
  25. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 61-69, 160.
  26. Quoted from the web link Städel Museum.
  27. Kölnischer Kunstverein ,, Accessed on July 27, 2012.
  28. Ludger Derenthal: In the surrealist night. To the plaster sculptures by Max Ernst from the 1930s. (PDF; 4.4 MB),, accessed on September 23, 2012.
  29. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 160.
  30. Your dream love, is a masterpiece (PDF; 983 kB),, accessed on December 1, 2015.
  31. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 87, 161.
  32. Jimmy Ernst: A Not-So-Still Life , Chapter 3, Darkness About Everything ,, accessed October 11, 2012.
  33. ↑ The horror of history ,, accessed on May 4, 2012.
  34. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 84 f.
  35. Uwe M. Schneede: The art of surrealism: painting, sculpture, poetry, photography, film. P. 230.
  36. ^ Sascha Lehnartz: How German exiles suffered in Les Milles ,, October 17, 2013, accessed on October 21, 2013.
  37. Kate Deimling: The Camp des Milles as a museum: Former camp opened by Hans Bellmer and Max Ernst in France ( memento of July 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed on October 21, 2013.
  38. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 94-99, 101.
  39. Abstract Expressionism 1942 ( Memento of May 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ),, (with photo), accessed on March 31, 2012.
  40. ^ Art of This Century ( Memento March 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed April 4, 2012.
  41. a b c Werner Spies: Max Ernst. Life and work . DuMont, Cologne 2005, pp. 171f.
  42. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 108-111.
  43. The couple in front of the house in Sedona. Photography by Henri Cartier-Bresson .
  44. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 112, 161.
  45. Helga Behn: Max Ernst: How the "Schnabelpaar" came about . In: Helga Behn: Sincerely, your Max. Artists' mail from the ZADIK holdings . Verlag für modern art Nuremberg, publisher Central Archive of the International Art Trade eV ZADIK, Cologne 2010, p. 60.
  46. Günter Herzog: The central archive of the international art trade in Cologne and its collection profile using the example of the Der Spiegel gallery (PDF; 323 kB) ,, p. 62 f., Accessed on April 3, 2012.
  47. Exhibition “between ever bluer distances”  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ): Max Ernst Museum Brühl, April 5 to July 26, 2009, accessed on April 15, 2012.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  48. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 119.
  49. Helga Behn: Max Ernst: How the "Schnabelpaar" came about . In: Helga Behn: Sincerely, your Max. Artists' mail from the ZADIK holdings. Cologne 2010, p. 61.
  50. Histoire de Collège - Le 22. palotin 80 , accessed on July 30, 2014.
  51. Werner Spies: Max Ernst. Life and work . DuMont, Cologne 2005, p. 250.
  52. Maison Max Ernst ,, accessed on 30 March 2012 found.
  53. "between getting bluer Far" ( Memento of 18 April 2014 Internet Archive ),, accessed on April 17, 2014.
  54. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 122-126, 161.
  55. Ursula Lindau: Max Ernst and his hometown. Notes on a complicated relationship ( Memento from March 31, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 954 kB),, accessed on September 23, 2012.
  56. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 96-98.
  57. Fontaine Max Ernst ,, accessed on 3 April 2012th
  58. Max Ernst Scholarship ,, accessed on December 1, 2018
  59. ^ Honorary Members: Max Ernst. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 10, 2019 .
  60. Mairie de Paris ,, accessed on May 11, 2012.
  61. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst , Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 148 f.
  62. Ludger Derenthal: Biography of the Städel , see web link.
  63. ^ Ulrich Bischoff: Max Ernst 1891–1976. Beyond painting. Taschen, Cologne 2005, p. 12f.
  64. Aquis submersus ,, accessed on July 2, 2012.
  65. ^ Ulrich Bischoff: Max Ernst 1891–1976. Beyond painting. Taschen, Cologne 2005, p. 16.
  66. Simon Wilson, Tate Gallery: An Illustrated Companion , Tate Gallery, London 1991, p. 161, quoted from Tate Gallery: Celebes .
  67. Uwe M. Schneede: The history of art in the 20th century. From the avant-garde to the present . CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-48197-3 , pp. 90f.
  68. Quoted from the web link of Museum Ludwig: Description of the picture.
  69. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst , Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, pp. 75 ff., 160.
  70. ^ La femme 100 têtes , Royal Library of the Netherlands , accessed October 18, 2012.
  71. Loplop présente ( Memento of September 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed on September 24, 2012.
  72. ^ Ulrich Bischoff: Max Ernst 1891–1976. Beyond painting . Taschen, Cologne 2005, p. 56.
  73. Lucy Flint: Max Ernst ,, accessed October 5, 2012.
  74. ^ Ulrich Bischoff: Max Ernst 1891–1976. Beyond painting . Taschen, Cologne 2005, p. 66f.
  75. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst , Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 90f.
  76. ^ Martin Schieder: Napoleon in the Wilderness. The transmogrification of a picture by Max Ernst, in: Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, Vol. 10, No. 1 (2019), pp. 7–23 (URL: .php / JSA / issue / view / 1 )
  77. ^ Lothar Fischer: Max Ernst , Rowohlt, Reinbek 1979, p. 106f.
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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on November 8, 2012 in this version .