Medium
Image rights
Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel / © Max Ernst / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Closely associated with Dada and Surrealism, Max Ernst made paintings, sculptures, and prints depicting fantastic, nightmarish images that often made reference to anxieties originating in childhood. Ernst demonstrated a profound interest in Freudian psychoanalysis, which is apparent in his exploration of Automatism and his invention of the Frottage technique. The artist’s psychoanalytic leanings are evident in his iconic 1923 work Pietà, or Revolution by Night, in which Ernst substitutes the image of Mary cradling the body of Christ with a depiction of the artist himself held by his father. Much of the artist’s work defied societal norms, Christian morality, and the aesthetic standards of Western academic art.

High auction record
$16.3m, Christie's, 2011
Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2021
The Roaring TwentiesGuggenheim Museum Bilbao
Max ErnstGalerie Thomas
2018
Artists’ Jewellery from Calder to Koons, Diane Venet’s Ideal CollectionLes Arts Décoratifs
View all

Swampangel, 1940

Oil on canvas, wooden frame covered in velvet by the artist
25 3/5 × 31 9/10 in
65 × 81 cm
Location
Riehen
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Medium
Image rights
Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel / © Max Ernst / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Closely associated with Dada and Surrealism, Max Ernst made paintings, sculptures, and prints depicting fantastic, nightmarish images that often made reference to anxieties originating in childhood. Ernst demonstrated a profound interest in Freudian psychoanalysis, which is apparent in his exploration of Automatism and his invention of the Frottage technique. The artist’s psychoanalytic leanings are evident in his iconic 1923 work Pietà, or Revolution by Night, in which Ernst substitutes the image of Mary cradling the body of Christ with a depiction of the artist himself held by his father. Much of the artist’s work defied societal norms, Christian morality, and the aesthetic standards of Western academic art.

High auction record
$16.3m, Christie's, 2011
Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)

Series by this artist

Other works from Fondation Beyeler
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