Max Ernst

Katharina Ondulata

About this artwork

Made while Ernst was the leader of the Cologne Dada group, this painting on printed paper is inspired by the Dada spirit of anarchy and confusion. It contains cosmic imagery (star constellations can be seen in the sky), and also alludes to the battle of the sexes. Both of these themes interested the Surrealists, who formed their group directly after Dada had disbanded. The full title of this piece is written along the bottom margin and refers to the 'mistress of the inn,' who would appear to be represented by the revolving sun on the left. The male is represented by a stick-like mannequin: his fuse is alight, ready to trigger his sexual desires.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Katharina Ondulata
  • date created:
    1920
  • materials:
    Gouache, pencil and ink on printed paper
  • measurements:
    31.50 x 27.50 cm (framed: 52.20 x 45.00 x 2.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995
  • accession number:
    GMA 3885
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Max Ernst

Max Ernst