Max Ernst To the Rendezvous of Friends (The Friends Become Flowers, Snakes, and Frogs) (Au rendez-vous des amis [Les amis se transforment en fleurs, en serpents, et en grenouilles]) 1928

  • Not on view

Ernst likely painted this work in anticipation of his major one-person exhibition at the Galerie Bernheim, Paris, in December 1928. Ambitious in size, it is a technical tour de force: Ernst built up paint in stages, then used grattage, or scraping with hard-edged tools like spatulas and palette knives, to expose the underlayers and to create surface textures where exceptionally fluid paint is pushed to the tool’s edge. The painting’s elaborate title bespeaks Ernst’s ongoing interest in metamorphosis and what he later described as the “voluntary, if irrational, confounding of the images of human beings” with the multifaceted variety of nature.

Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.
Oil on canvas
51 1/8 x 63 3/4" (129.8 x 161.9 cm)
Gift of Samuel A. Berger and the artist (by exchange)
Object number
© 2023 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Fernand C. Graindorge, Liège
E. J. Power, London
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1973

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email [email protected] or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].