Surreal getting real

Standing Ovation, Seated

This is The King Playing the Queen by Max Ernst, made in 1944 in the US.


It was shown at the recent Paris exhibition, but I wonder why the curators didn’t present the whole story.

Max Ernst was living in the US at the time, with his wife, Dorothea Tanning, They were a happy couple, as evidenced by this photo – even with their backs against each other:

Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, photo by Lee Miller, 1947

They were both artists, and they both loved playing chess:


He created the wooden set in the picture to reflect symbolic meanings of chess pieces and the game, overall. It was a long process, with a lot of drawings, and clay models he was perfecting along the way.


His wooden pieces were later made in glass.

A chess player, who is accustomed to watching the board from above, may find extra enjoyment in…

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