The Blast of the Bride, Max Ernst – overview of the painting

The Blast of the Bride, Max Ernst – overview of the painting
The Blast of the Bride, Max Ernst - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Max Ernst
  • Museum: Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice
  • Year: 1940

Overview of the painting :

The Blast’s Blast is Max Ernst. 1940. Oil on canvas

   The canvas depicts many strange unnatural figures and nothing that at least remotely resembles the bride’s usual robe in the form of a long white dress and veil. Ernst’s work often repeats the motive of half-people, half-birds. This is due to an episode from childhood, when his sister was born at the same time, and his beloved parrot died. Such a coincidence forever connected the image of man and bird in the artist’s perception.

   There are several such “poultrymen” in the picture. First of all, this is the central image – orange robe with the head of an owl, which seems to live its own life. The body of the bride seems to come out of this outfit, symbolizing the process of transformation.

   On both sides, two figures surround the “bride”. One of them seems to be a normal naked woman, but with a strangely twisted neck and hair, more like lace skirt in folds. Another figure, as if peering out because of the immense outfit of the “bride”, is a fantastic mutant, a creature with the head and plumage of drinking and human limbs. This variation on the theme of the ancient Egyptian gods holds in their hands a broken arrow, more similar in size to a spear. If we take into account an even more grotesque figure, perched at the feet of the “bride”, a Russian fairy tale about the Lagoon Princess involuntarily comes to mind. Only the princess and the frog can this image be considered very conditionally. This creation of a green color, with a huge belly, signs of both sexes, huge feet and two rows of breasts – a real product of night delirium.

   An interesting feature of the picture is a canvas hanging behind the back of the “bride” with a similar image, only without additional figures, such a “dream in a dream”, double reality or another parallel world.