Ernst studied philosophy and psychology in Bonn and was interested air max bw pas cher in the alternative realities experienced by the insane. This painting may have been inspired by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s study of the delusions of a paranoiac, Daniel Paul Schreber. Freud identified Schreber’s fantasy of becoming a woman as a ‘castration complex’. The central image of two pairs of legs refers to Schreber’s hermaphroditic desires. Ernst’s inscription on air max safari the back of the nike air max 90 painting reads: ‘The picture is curious because of its symmetry. The two sexes balance one another.’
Inscribed on the back with a commentary and dedication:
Purchased from Gordon Onslow Ford through the Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago (Grant in Aid) 1960André Breton, Paris (gift from the artist); Seora Eva Sulzer, San Angelo, Mexico; Gordon Onslow Ford, Inverness, CaliforniaExposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Beaux Arts, Paris, January February 1938 (67); Max Ernst, Tate Gallery, September October 1961 (35, repr.)André Breton, Nadja
(Paris 1928), air max 2013 p.164, repr. p.174; Werner Spies, Sigrid and Günter Metken, Max Ernst: Werke 1906 1925
(Houston Cologne 1975), No.653, p.339 repr.; Geoffrey Hinton, ‘Max Ernst: « Les Hommes n’en Sauront Rien »‘ in Burlington Magazine, CXVII, 1975, pp.292 9, repr. p.297Cahiers d’Art, 1936, p.170; John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery
(London 1966), p.172 in colour
The back of this picture is inscribed with a mysterious and enigmatic prose poem,
which can be translated as follows:
OF THIS MEN SHALL KNOW france air max NOTHINGMax nike aire max Ernst confirmed to the compiler in February 1970 that this poem was written by himself. It is followed by a dedication to Andre Breton, to whom he gave this picture.
At the top of the painting there is a mysterious ‘sun’. From it rays descend to circling astral bodies ‘the earth’ (covered by a disembodied hand) with attendant planets. Above, the lower halves of a man and woman copulate in space. An upturned ‘crescent moon’/’parachute’ supports a ‘little whistle’. From an arid desert of viscera and stones rise two strange nike air max pas cher protuberances, strongly suggestive of ambi sexual phalli. All this takes on a distinctly Freudian character.
Ernst had studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Bonn from 1909 to 1914. In 1913 he had read Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams