The Robing of the Bride (1939) by Max Ernst

The Robing of the Bride - Max Ernst - 1940

Artwork Information

TitleThe Robing of the Bride
ArtistMax Ernst
Date1940
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions129.6 x 96.3 cm
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationPeggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Location Created Paris, France
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About The Robing of the Bride

“The Robing of the Bride,” a symbolic painting by the artist Max Ernst, was created in 1940 in Paris, France. This oil on canvas work belongs to the Surrealism movement and measures 129.6 x 96.3 cm. Currently, the artwork resides in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. With its distinctive surrealistic elements, the artwork showcases Ernst’s unique style.

The artwork presents a vibrant and perplexing scene that encapsulates the essence of Surrealism—a movement known for its exploration of the unconscious mind and dream-like imagery. At the center stands a bride figure draped in an opulent red robe, her form obscured by the garment’s plush folds. This central figure seems to overshadow other elements in the scene with its sheer scale and intense color.

Beside the robed figure is another character, possibly a groom, with an elongated white headgear that stretches toward the bride while contorting their body unnaturally. This figure’s skin appears almost alabaster, contrasting starkly with the red of the robe. An intriguing bird-like creature is featured nearby—its sharp beak turned toward what appears to be a metallic instrument, further adding to the sense of surreal mystique.

In the background, there are additional elements contributing to the work’s enigmatic quality, including a smaller, bird-headed figure and a textured landscape that’s visible through a window. The artwork abounds with symbolic connotations and evocative details that invite diverse interpretations—a characteristic statement of Max Ernst’s involvement with the unpredictable and dream-inspired world of Surrealism.

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