This is The King Playing the Queen by Max Ernst, made in 1944 in the US.
It was shown at the recent Paris exhibition, but I wonder why the curators didn’t present the whole story.
Max Ernst was living in the US at the time, with his wife, Dorothea Tanning, They were a happy couple, as evidenced by this photo – even with their backs against each other:
They were both artists, and they both loved playing chess:
He created the wooden set in the picture to reflect symbolic meanings of chess pieces and the game, overall. It was a long process, with a lot of drawings, and clay models he was perfecting along the way.
His wooden pieces were later made in glass.
A chess player, who is accustomed to watching the board from above, may find extra enjoyment in studying it from different angles. Professional chess players often talk of a very special type of beauty that the game seems to possess. Well, even to my amateurish eye, there’s lots of beauty, danger, threat, and excitement in these arrangements:
Max Ernst gave the name “Immortal” to his chess masterpiece. This is a very rare case of something surreal becoming very much a real part of this world.
I wonder why it has never been mass-produced.
Chess itself can be a very versatile artistic medium.
Even an ordinary set of pieces can bring to life the most complicated and even abstract concepts:
Imagine how far an artistic mind could go with Max Ernst’s chess set!
If you want to read the whole surrealism series, click on the surreal tag at the bottom.
Lately, so many ads and fashion films find inspiration from surrealism. I find them fascinating, since the convey great stories in a surprising and philosophical way. This is one of them http://youtu.be/fnZF8NjD5-Y
Thank you for the link. I can’t recognise the brand that I historically considered as a teenage brand that my sons seemed to like… I’ve spent too much time in marketing to appreciate commercial videos though. Too much cynicism in me now ))
In 2012, I saw in Vienna Albertina an exhibition devoted to the work of Max Ernst. I confess, it was not until then my favorite as a painter. But in the exhibition was a picture of him that really fascinated me. I even wrote a post about it. Here is the link: http://desfischersauge.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/weekly-photo-challenge-masterpiece/
Maybe you like it?
Yes, I like it. I will come back on it within your post a bit later – has been out on a skiing vacation for a week!
Hope you have enjoyed it. Best wishes!
The glass versions are particularly mesmerising. A lot of symbolism in the glass regarding transparency and vulnerability.
Yep. I’d love to have a set, even though as a player I am next to someone who is vague about the way a knight moves.
All aspiring chess players may need to follow mating hedgehog rules and move ‘very carefully’.
Are the last two photos yours?
Hi – no, those are rather famous examples of the use of chess figures to express ideas beyond chess )
Thank you ) Cheers!
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