Museum Folkwang
La Couronne
  • André Masson
  • La Couronne, 1924

  • The Crown
  • Oil on canvas
  • 92 x 73 cm
  • Acquired in 1969 with support of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Alfred und Cläre Pott-Stiftung
  • Inv. G 366
  • CommentaryAndré Masson, who described himself as a »rebel of surrealism«, was one of the first co-workers on the magazine ›La Révolution surréaliste‹ (from 1924) published by André Breton. Artistically speaking he was interested in forms of appearance of the unconscious and thee metamorphosis of the world of objects.
    In his painting ›The Crown‹, the artist describes »la dictée de l’inconscient«, an interplay of imaginary forms and things. »Symbolized is«, according to Masson, »the struggle of life against the moment of death.« Life is depicted in the four elements: An amphora (left) stands for water, a bird (above right) expresses air, bread, fish and pepperoni stand for Earth and a burning cord represents fire. Masson includes a female torso hinted at above right in the painting as the ›fifth element‹, also representing life. The artist evokes death with a memorial slab, decorated with a portrait of a young woman. Fruits and leaves bound into a wreath visible below symbolize transience. A cord burning at one end, a reference to a funeral ritual, intensifies the symbolism of death and graves. With this very intense composition, recalling a still life, Masson creates an imagery that feeds on levels of memory in the human psyche, on phantasmagories and hallucinations – one of Surrealism’s fundamental tenets. Daniel-Henry Kahnweile, Picassso’s famous dealer in Paris and himself a collector, was the first owner of this painting.
  • Provenance1969, Galerie Michael Hertz, Bremen
  • Obj_Id: 3,394
  • Obj_Internet_S: ja
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 187
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Gemäldesammlung
  • Obj_Title1_S: La Couronne
  • Obj_Title2_S: The Crown
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): La Couronne The Crown La Couronne Die Krone
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1924
  • Jahr von: 1,924
  • Jahr bis: 1,924
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: G 366
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: G 0366
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Painting
  • Obj_Crate_S: 92 x 73 cm
  • Obj_Material_S: Oil on canvas
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Oil on canvas
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb): Acquired in 1969 with support of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Alfred und Cläre Pott-Stiftung
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort):
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Commentary
Artists
Provenance

André Masson, who described himself as a »rebel of surrealism«, was one of the first co-workers on the magazine ›La Révolution surréaliste‹ (from 1924) published by André Breton. Artistically speaking he was interested in forms of appearance of the unconscious and thee metamorphosis of the world of objects.
In his painting ›The Crown‹, the artist describes »la dictée de l’inconscient«, an interplay of imaginary forms and things. »Symbolized is«, according to Masson, »the struggle of life against the moment of death.« Life is depicted in the four elements: An amphora (left) stands for water, a bird (above right) expresses air, bread, fish and pepperoni stand for Earth and a burning cord represents fire. Masson includes a female torso hinted at above right in the painting as the ›fifth element‹, also representing life. The artist evokes death with a memorial slab, decorated with a portrait of a young woman. Fruits and leaves bound into a wreath visible below symbolize transience. A cord burning at one end, a reference to a funeral ritual, intensifies the symbolism of death and graves. With this very intense composition, recalling a still life, Masson creates an imagery that feeds on levels of memory in the human psyche, on phantasmagories and hallucinations – one of Surrealism’s fundamental tenets. Daniel-Henry Kahnweile, Picassso’s famous dealer in Paris and himself a collector, was the first owner of this painting.