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Max Ernst

/Works and biography

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The Postman Cheval (Le Facteur Cheval), 1932
Paper and fabric collage with pencil, ink,
and gouache on paper, 64.3 x 48.9 cm
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 74
© Max Ernst, by SIAE 2008


Ferdinand Cheval (1836-1924) was a postman of Hauterives, in the Rhône-Alpes of France, who over a 33-year period built a Palais Idéal in a bizarre, eclectic style using materials gathered on his postal rounds. The palace still exists. As a man who constructed his dreams, Cheval became posthumously a hero of Surrealist artists. Ernst, in the guise of his alter ego Loplop Superior of Birds (present here both in the gouached bird on the left and in the rectangular blue figure with head and cravat on the right), pays homage to him in this collage, which is part of a series titled ‘Loplop Introduces…’

credits: Hangar Design Group