National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS
Max Ernst: Illustrated Books

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

Une semaine de bonté, ou Les sept éléments capitaux: roman, 1934, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, David K. E. Bruce Fund The mysterious, species-bending creatures invented by German surrealist Max Ernst (1891–1976) during the 1920s and 1930s will be highlighted in the focus exhibition Max Ernst: Illustrated Books. Drawn from the Gallery’s rare book collection, the 19 works include pages from Ernst’s collage novels La femme 100 têtes (1929), Rêve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel (1930), and Une semaine de bonté (1934).

Ernst’s works on display were made from separate images, which he combined to form imaginative and ambiguous narratives. The prints run the gamut from supernatural and whimsical to sinister and dramatic. The exhibition will also feature works in Histoire naturelle (1926) that were created by rubbing a pencil over different textures and surfaces in order to produce surprising plant and animal-like forms.

Some of Ernst’s collaborations with other writers and artists such as Jean Arp, Leonora Carrington, and Paul Éluard are also on view.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington