The Eye of Silence (1943) by Max Ernst

The Eye of Silence - Max Ernst - 1943

Artwork Information

TitleThe Eye of Silence
ArtistMax Ernst
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions108 x 141 cm
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationWashington University Gallery of Art (WUSTL), St. Louis, MO, US
Location Created United States

About The Eye of Silence

“The Eye of Silence” is an allegorical painting by Max Ernst, created in 1943. This oil on canvas work exemplifies the Surrealist movement, capturing a dream-like atmosphere through its enigmatic composition. Measuring 108 by 141 cm, the artwork was created in the United States and currently resides at the Washington University Gallery of Art in St. Louis, Missouri.

The artwork presents a haunting, surreal landscape that is both hypnotic and cryptic. Earthy and vegetal forms dominate the scene, rendered in shades of green and brown that contribute to a feeling of organic decay and otherworldly growth. Mysterious structures reminiscent of ruins or bones seem to merge with the grotesque plant life, creating a fusion between the living and the inanimate. Eyes are a recurring motif within this eerie tableau, imbuing the scene with a sense of vigilant consciousness, as if the natural elements themselves are silently observing the viewer.

A landscape, perhaps reflective of a subconscious mindscape, stretches out with ethereal clouds hovering in the background, adding to the sense of an infinite, immersive environment that Ernst has masterfully crafted. The intricacy of the textures and the play of light and shadow evoke a visceral response, inviting the observer into a world where the boundaries of reality are blurred. The allegorical elements within “The Eye of Silence” allow for multiple interpretations, speaking to the profound depths of the human psyche.

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