Le passé et le présent (Past and Present)
Max Ernst (Brühl 1891 – Paris 1976)
By the mid twentieth century, Hampstead was known as a neighbourhood of artists and intellectuals. Goldfinger himself kept company with Surrealist artists such as Max Ernst, who painted this diptych, and Roland Penrose, a fellow Hampstead resident whom he knew from his Paris days.
Oil painting on canvas, Le passé et le présent (Past and Present) (diptych) by Max Ernst (Brühl 1891 – Paris 1976), 1932-34. The left hand panel depicting a man's head on a blue background with waved lines within the head. The right hand panel mirroring the left but on a background comprising geometric and curvilinear lines bisecting each other and dividing the ground into areas of bold colour. Within a simple stained pine frame, with a vertical stretcher dividing the two panels of the painting.
Acquired by Ernö Goldfinger in 1934; purchased by the National Trust with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and a bequest from Geoffrey Dunne, 2000.
2 Willow Road, The Ernö Goldfinger Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
Bottom right hand corner.: Signed by artist "Max Ernst".
Makers and roles
Max Ernst (Brühl 1891 – Paris 1976), artist