Come and visit our new collection website, featuring over 90,000 new object records and 35,000 newly digitised artworks
Hut in der Hand, Hut auf dem Kopf [Hat in Hand, Hat on Head] About 1919

Not on display

Ernst exhibited some of his early paintings with the Expressionist group. This painting shows the influence of Expressionism in the self-consciously naïve style and use of heightened colour. The disembodied, moustached man raises his bowler hat, only to reveal another underneath (the mark of the true bourgeois gentleman). A bird can be seen falling out of the tree at the bottom of the picture. Birds often appear in Ernst's work and were of significance to him because as a child his pet bird died on the same day his sister was born.

Glossary Open


A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists deliberately abandoned realistic representation techniques in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.

Naïve art

Work by self-taught artists who don't adhere to traditional representational practices or other artistic conventions.

Expressionism, Naïve art


  • Acc. No. GMA 4169
  • Medium Oil on board
  • Size 36.80 x 29.20 cm
  • Credit Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund 1997