Lines and Colors art blog

A Week of Kindness (Max Ernst)

Max Ernst Brilliant Dadaist/Surrealist Max Ernst is sometimes lost in the glare surrounding more well-known figures like Dali and Magritte. Ernst was a founding member of the Surrealist movement and created some of the most powerful Surrealist images.

One of his masterpieces isn’t a painting but a collage-novel. He took engraved illustrations from peridicals and catalogs, painstakingly cut them out and assembled them into a series of remarkable images. The result is a wonderfully disconcerting Surrealist picture-story, or (dare I say it?) graphic novel, titled Une Semaine de Bonté (“A Week of Kindness”).

Remarkably, the entire book has been posted online as part of the NelePets Art Encyclopedia, which also has some images of Ernst paintings here. There are also some larger extracted images from AWoK here. Dover Books has kept a large format edition of the book in print for many years. Like most Dover art books, it’s very inexpensive but the quality of the reproductions isn’t high. In any format, A Week of Kindness is a Surrealist masterpiece.

Addendum, 2/24/08: The NelePets site listed here has gone the way of all things Internet, try the Google Books version.