Max Ernst The King Playing with the Queen (Le roi jouant avec la reine) 1944 (cast 1954)

  • Not on view

In this sculpture, a horned king towers over a conical queen and a sextet of infantry. Ernst first displayed the plaster version of this sculpture in The Imagery of Chess, a 1944 exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. The conflict and hierarchy inherent to chess may have served as an allegory for World War II, which had driven Ernst into exile in the United States. Or, as Ernst’s wife, the artist Dorothea Tanning, later wrote, “A hypothetical king and queen playing a game involving kings and queens—there is no end to the interpretations that could be put upon such a situation.”

Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
38 1/2 x 33 x 20 1/2" (97.8 x 83.8 x 52.1 cm) ; 20 1/2 x 18 1/2" (52.1 x 47 cm) at base
Credit
Gift of D. and J. de Menil
Object number
330.1955
Copyright
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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