The source for this overpainting is an equine anatomical diagram from a teaching-aids supply catalogue (the Bibliotheca Paedagogica, 1914), which the artist turned upside down. Ernst’s inscription reads: "Stratified rocks, nature’s gift of gneiss lava Icelandic moss 2 kinds of lungwort 2 kinds of ruptures of the perinaeum growths of the heart b) the same thing in a well-polished little box somewhat more expensive."
Gallery label from Dada, June 18–September 11, 2006.
The source for this overpainting is a color lithograph showing the anatomy of a horse from the Bibliotheca Paedagogica (1914), a teaching-aids supply catalogue. Ernst inverted this image and added gouache and pencil to transform the horse’s innards into a geological cross section. The punning, nonsensical text handwritten on the secondary support offers several interpretive clues, like “stratified rocks” and “gneiss lava Iceland moss,” which suggest that this is a landscape. The artist later wrote of the Bibliotheca that “the sheer absurdity of the collection provoked a sudden intensification of the visionary faculties in me.”
Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.