Fishbone Forest (1927) by Max Ernst

Fishbone Forest - Max Ernst - 1927

Artwork Information

TitleFishbone Forest
ArtistMax Ernst
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions54 x 65 cm
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
Location Created Paris, France

About Fishbone Forest

The artwork titled “Fishbone Forest” is a distinctive creation by Max Ernst, a renowned figure in the Surrealist art movement. Completed in 1927, this oil on canvas exemplifies the symbolic painting genre in vogue among avant-garde artists of the time. The painting’s modest dimensions of 54 by 65 centimeters reflect the intimate scale often favored by Ernst. Having emerged from the artistic milieu of Paris, France, this piece is now housed in a private collection, likely influencing the spheres of critics and collectors with its enigmatic presence.

In “Fishbone Forest,” we are presented with an ethereal landscape teeming with surreal elements and curious juxtaposition. The setting is characterized by an expansive upper area dominated by an intense orange hue, representing the sky or perhaps an abstract backdrop, with a notable circular object floating within. This object casts a curious shadow, evoking a sense of mystery and otherworldly physics that belong to the dreamscape.

Below, a series of dark, vertically aligned forms resembling fishbones or fossilized remains create a stark contrast against the vibrant sky. They give the artwork its name and form a dense, forest-like arrangement. This thicket of shapes appears to be a manifestation of the unconscious, drawing upon natural structures yet entirely divorced from the conventional interpretation of a forest.

Foreground elements in off-white provide a further contrast, introducing shapes that might be interpreted as rocks or shells, grounding the composition and enhancing the overall enigmatic quality of the work. These textured surfaces play with light and shadow, adding depth and material intrigue to the artwork.

Taken as a whole, “Fishbone Forest” speaks to the core of surrealist philosophy, invoking a sense of intrigue and challenging the viewer’s perceptions of reality. It is a testament to Max Ernst’s formidable ability to express the subconscious through his artistry, encapsulating the creative exploration of form and meaning that defines Surrealism.

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