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Max Ernst produced Europe after the Rain II during the years of 1940-42, soon after he had fled Nazi-occupied France. His years in the US may have been enforced, but they still provided memorable and happy times in his life and also heralded some new ideas in his work too.
It is still hard to believe that one of Germany's most significant artists would be forced to leave the entire European continent in order to avoid the ruling power of his native country. Once labelled a 'degenerate' his career was immediately in jeopardy. Many paintings from great artists in this group were completely destroyed, something that those of the modern era find quite extraordinary and saddening.
It was those specifically in the regions in and around Germany that were most under threat. Ernst escaped to the US and continued his career thanks to the help of Peggy Guggenheim, an American Jewish art collector who was both well aware of Max Ernst's qualities as an artist, but also in the dangers posed by the German Third Reich towards cultural destruction.
This artwork is now owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT in the USA. It remains one of the most significant components of its collection, though you can also find artworks from the likes of Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church and Childe Hassam. It remains one of the major venues for art within the entire nation.