The Message of the Forest (Poselstvi Lesa)

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About this artwork

The power of nature over the human world is a recurring theme in Toyen’s work which repeatedly centres on barren, dream-like landscapes, featuring lone girls, fragmentary female figures and birds. Her interest in these themes originates in illustrations she made for children’s books, but her work soon took on a more bizarre and sinister appearance. Toyen was careful not to ‘explain’ her work, but instead left the viewer to explore the symbolic meaning. In common with many Surrealists she had a keen interest in the writings of Sigmund Freud. Her works seem to respond to dreams and nightmares, suggesting a world of intense anxiety.

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  • title: The Message of the Forest (Poselstvi Lesa)
  • accession number: GMA 5551
  • artist: ToyenBohemian
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Surrealism
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1936
  • measurements: 160.00 x 129.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased with help from the Henry and Sula Walton Fund and Art Fund (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation), 2016
  • copyright: © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017