Max Ernst
Forest and Dove 1927

Artwork details

Max Ernst 1891–1976
Forest and Dove
Forêt et colombe
Date 1927
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1003 x 813 mm
frame: 1200 x 1012 x 66 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1962
Not on display

Display caption

Forests appear frequently in Ernst’s works and recall his feelings of the ‘enchantment and terror’ of the woods near his childhood home. Forests are a potent symbol in German tradition, and were also adopted by the Surrealist group as a metaphor for the imagination. In this work, a small dove, which Ernst liked to use as a symbol to represent himself, is trapped among menacing trees. The shapes are created using a technique he called ‘grattage’, in which paint is scraped across the canvas to reveal the imprint of objects placed beneath.

September 2013

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