Woman, old man and flower, Max Ernst – overview of the painting

Woman, old man and flower, Max Ernst – overview of the painting
Woman, old man and flower, Max Ernst - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Max Ernst
  • Museum: Museum of Modern Art (New York)
  • Year: 1923-1924

Overview of the painting :

Woman, old man and flower – Max Ernst. 1923-1924. Oil on canvas. 96.5 x 130.2 cm

   Ernst’s surreal images in this picture can stalled any expert. Who is the woman here, who is the old man and where the flower is at all? And, as they say, “Was there a boy.” ? But this is the meaning of surrealism – everyone will see in the picture what the imagination and its level of knowledge will tell him.

   The background of the picture is a sea landscape with a very distant, vague shore. It would have been quite possible to be part of the picture of a realist artist: natural colors, softly written clouds, everything is quite normal and familiar. Surrealism begins in the foreground. Immediately and do not understand that this is depicted – not that broken sand dunes, or even clutter-faced fabric canvases in the wind.

   The composition of the picture includes three vertically, which, it seems, do not carry any informative load. This is a subject similar to a cane, a subtle pin at the edge of the picture and an incomprehensible yellow-green object, about which one of the figures rests. The riddle? Of course yes. Like, however, everything in this picture.

   The figures on the canvas surprise even more. Almost in the center, a strange image depicted from the back is a naked body with a fan instead of the head, schematically depicted by hands and a mysterious vest with through “windows” through which the landscape is visible. The second figure is dressed, but in very strange things, it is squatting, broad-balled, holds a mysterious white object in large troubled hands.

   On the shore there is another strange thing – a red-yellow object in the form of three cylinders on the legs. The question arises – is it not whether the artist called something incomprehensible a flower? This picture gives a room of imagination.