"Max Ernst: A Retrospective"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York. April 7-July 10, 2005

As a maker and manipulator of images, Max Ernst was in a very high class. He did not deal simply in surprises, but in surprises that would never fail in their effect.

At the time of his death in 1976, he had French nationality. But he was throughout his life a consummate European. He was born in Bruhl, near Cologne, in 1891. His schoolteacher father, Philippe Ernst, taught deaf-mute children, but he also loved to paint, and especially to make copies after reproductions of the old masters. But he also had a streak of mischief, which Max Ernst was to have in full measure. In Philippe’s copies, unbelievers were given the faces of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, while his own family and friends stood in for saints and angels.

Max was raised in Germany, and studied philosophy and abnormal...


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