People don’t recognize anything, Max Ernst – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

People don’t know anything – Max Ernst. 1923. Oil on canvas. 80.3 x 63.8 cm
The pronounced sexual subtext of this picture is a reflection of the free-thinking, possessing minds at that time. Today, this painting looks rather modest and restrained, but in the 20s it was a real “slap in the face of public opinion.”

If some of the images in the picture can be clearly identified (man, woman, blanket, moon, night, the hand of a hidden ruler pulling the strings of sexual desire), then the remaining elements are a pure mystery, a spacious field for violent imagination looking at the canvas.

The saturated blue background of the picture with a smooth transition from light to deep velvet shade can be easily associated with the atmosphere, and, therefore, the very existence of mankind. The image takes on a deeper philosophical meaning than it seems at first glance. It is impossible not to note the contrast and expressiveness of the picture, where each detail has a clear shape and perfectly outlined outlines. For this purpose, open, local colors with almost no midtones are used, which is why the whole work seems to be written in gouache or tempera, and not oil.

The picture is interesting in that everyone who looks at it sees different images. They are born in his brain under the influence of image and experience."

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