A Week of Max Ernst: Saturday

The Stolen Mirror-Max Ernst 1941
Saturday’s A Week of Max Ernst is a lesser known work from the incredibly fertile period of 1940-1942. Painted in California while living with Peggy Guggenheim whom he was soon to marry, the dual female figures would again appear to be Leonora Carrington. He had recently learnt that after leaving her behind in France, Carrington had suffered a severe mental breakdown that had resulted her being institutionalized in a Madrid mental asylum, a period she recorded in Down Below, an account of what Carrington called her adventures ‘on the other side of the mirror.’ Legend has it that when her wealthy industrialist father learnt of Leonora’s fate that he despatched her beloved nanny to rescue her in a submarine.

The Stolen Mirror has a particularly limpid quality. Decalcomania was again a major component, especially in the  wounded, diminished figure on the left, a warped, petrified reflection of the towering female on the right with her regal furs and attendant creatures. In between a rampart skirts the water’s edge leading off into the vast distance, past small islands and man-made mounds crowned with mythological monuments.

16 thoughts on “A Week of Max Ernst: Saturday

      1. Great! love the Surrealist movement! I just was so excited to learn that one of Dali’s influences was Hieronymous Bosch …aaah well of course! Ms. Carrington’s and Frida’s art is so very simular too! Thanks for inspiring me to look beyond!

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  1. It looks like she’s dressed in birds, coral, and giant fall leaves. So the mirror reference is for the jilted lover? Why stolen? I don’t understand that. Man, Max must have been something if his leaving cause a mental breakdown. Damn.

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    1. The stolen mirror is a reference (I think) that she is on the other side of the mirror and the mirror has been stolen so the mirror is a passageway that he cannot access any longer and she is trapped, out of reach, inaccessible. His second wife had a breakdown as well, he must have been something. Or he just attracted them.

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      1. Hmm, that’s interesting. I wonder if it has to do with the type of person he was attracted to. I mean, he seems a bit crazy himself. I have always thought that creative types are prone to drama. 😛

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