The Antipope Max Ernst Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

The Antipope was a figurative piece of work that was created between December 1941 and March 1942 by Max Ernst. It was an oil painting that was done on canvas and was a representation of his tumultuous personal beliefs and life.

In the image, he depicts some five mythical hybrid figures who are standing by a lake. On the left is a female figure that wears a red dress and has a head that looks more like that of a horse. It also has an owl-like headdress and looks at the three figures on its right. These three figures on the right are in a somewhat strange embrace. At the centre is female draped in pink. She is held between a green figure and another figure that has a horse head, medieval armour and a wig. There is also a figure at the background with the hand closed at the back.

Ernst painted the image when he moved to America. It is a depiction of Ernst, her daughter Pegeen and Guggenheim. The later was the person who helped Ernst to move to America. This image was painted when Ernst was facing a turbulent love life. He was married to Guggenheim, but he was also involved with another woman called Leonara Carrington. Both he and the other woman spent time riding horses. The Antipope was a combination of passions, horses for her (Carrington) and birds for him. Birds were an obsession for Ernst. Carrington then moved to Mexico with her husband, leaving Ernst with Guggenheim. Ernst and Guggenheim remained married until 1946.

This image showcases the predicted separation between Carrington and Ernest. Carrington is said to be the woman in red who looks at these two lovebirds from a distance. Guggenheim is holding a spear, ready to defend her love with the Ernst. True to the image prediction, Carrington soon left the relationship when she moved away.

The style of painting is Surrealism. In this piece, Ernst brings out a deep hidden meaning to the painting by carefully placing various subjects on the piece. You cannot logically determine the meaning of the piece of art by just looking at the image. This was the hallmark of the Surrealism style. Artists brought up their personal feelings and unconscious thoughts using unique objects. There was also some calmness and silence in the images. In this case, the lake by which the figures stand is a show of tranquillity. This allowed for a deeper thought when readers try to figure out the meanings of the images.