Max Ernst’s The Entire City is an oil painting on paper mounted on canvas created in 1934 using his ‘grattage’ technique. The painting measures 60 by 81 centimeters, depicting a cityscape made of geometric forms against a blue sky. The imagery of the city calls to mind antique ruins and lost civilizations, which may reflect Ernst’s pessimism towards Nazism in Germany during that time.
Ernst was a surrealist artist and a primary pioneer of Dada and Surrealism in Europe. He used his memories of war and childhood to create absurd yet interesting scenes in his artworks. In The Entire City, he created an otherworldly skyline made up of buildings that seem to be melting or crumbling away into the sky.
The painting is an excellent representation of Ernst’s unique style, combining elements of various art movements such as surrealism, dadaism, cubism, and expressionism. It showcases how he seamlessly fused together different aesthetics to arrive at something entirely new and illusory. Overall, The Entire City is a haunting yet fascinating work from one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.