oil on canvas
81 x 60 cm (31 7/8 x 23 5/8 in.)
signed upper right
Max Ernst developed many of his techniques to create shapes inspired by nature. His frottages, for instance, were rubbings of artificial or natural surfaces. The artist also collected objects he found in nature, especially rounded or peculiarly shaped stones and rocks, which he sometimes painted. Often these rocks were also brought to him by his friends. The anthropomorphic shapes in the painting " Lamenting women crossing a river may be interpreted to resemble a scholar's rock, for Ernst was interested in many cultures and certainly knew about scholar's rocks and their tradition in China as objects of contemplation. Approximately 1000 years ago, Chinese scholars, higher officials and artists began presenting so-called scholar's rocks, gonshi, together with calligraphy and paintings. From the 6th century on, Chinese scholar's rocks were exported and influenced the development of Korean suseok and Japanese suiseki.
Max Ernst • Femmes traversant une rivière en criant