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Türme [Towers] 1916

Not on display

This is an early and transitional painting by Ernst. It reflects his interest in Cubism and also anticipates the works he made whilst part of the Cologne Dada group in 1919-20. The painting may represent an abstracted view seen by Ernst when he was stationed in Laon and Soissons in France during the First World War, in 1915-16. In the background of the painting a tall building with a steeple, possibly a church, can be seen. Shapes in the central construction suggest chimneys, windows and bricks. Critics have commented on the similarity of this work to paintings of towers by Robert Delaunay, whose work Ernst would have known.

Glossary Open


A style of painting originated by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the first two decades of the 20th century. Instead of painting a figure or object from a fixed position they represented it from multiple viewpoints.


A radical artistic and literary movement that was a reaction against the cultural climate that supported the First World War. The Dadaists took an anti-establishment attitude, questioning art's status and favouring performance and collage over traditional art techniques. Many Dadaists went on to become involved with Surrealism.

Cubism , Dada


  • Acc. No. GMA 3969
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 60.00 x 43.00 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995