Max Ernst (1891-1976)
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Max Ernst (1891-1976)

Tâches de soleil

Max Ernst (1891-1976)
Tâches de soleil
signed and indistinctly dated ‘max ernst 57’ (lower right); signed, inscribed and dated 'taches de soleil 57 max ernst' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
18 ¼ x 15 1/8 in. (46.2 x 38.3 cm.)
Painted in 1957
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 28 June 1961, lot 13A.
Bild und Buch Gallery, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 30 June 1966, lot 177.
Holtzheimer, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Galerie Stangl, Munich.
Conrad Böttcher, Stuttgart, by whom acquired from the above on 14 October 1967, and thence by descent to the present owner.
W. Spies & S. & G. Metken, Max Ernst, Werke 1954-1963, Cologne, 1998, no. 3317, p. 140 (illustrated).
Munich, Galerie Stangl, Max Ernst, August - October 1967, no. 6 (illustrated).
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


Following his return to Europe after years living in exile in America, Max Ernst chose to settle in the small hamlet of Huismes in the Loire Valley, writing shortly after the move: ‘It is beautiful and gentle and calm here’ (Ernst, quoted in W. Spies and J. Drost, eds., Max Ernst: Retrospective, exh. cat., Vienna, 2013, p. 279). It was in this verdant green landscape, surrounded by the idyllic beauty of the French countryside that his paintings reached a new level of harmony and peace, suffused with an almost fairytale atmosphere. Seemingly illuminated from within, Tâches de soleil achieves a depth and complexity of surface that calls to mind, through relentless point and counterpoint, the rhythms of the natural world. Indeed, though created at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement, this painting remains firmly rooted in nature through the presence of the benign animalistic form at its centre, lending the scene a clearly figurative, if distinctly otherworldly reality.

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