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La Femme au parapluie [Woman with Umbrella] About 1921

Not on display

This small painting is closely related to collages in which Ernst combined elements from advertisements and patterns for women's clothing and accessories. Details have been incised into the paint with a pointed instrument. Ernst's emphasis on the rolled umbrella, high-heeled boots and tailored gloves is almost fetishistic. It also shows the influence of the German Symbolist artist Max Klinger, whose work Ernst admired. The painting has an aura of illicit sexual tension. Uncomfortably crammed into a small space, attention is focused on the girl's legs and skirt and the open door suggests a stolen view.

Glossary Open


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.


The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Collage, Symbolism


  • Acc. No. GMA 3970
  • Medium Gouache, crayon and pencil on printed paper, laid on card
  • Size 16.50 x 10.50 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995