Gala Éluard

Artist: Max Ernst (French (born Germany), Brühl 1891–1976 Paris)

Date: 1924

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 32 x 25 3/4 in. (81.3 x 65.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection, Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman, 2006

Accession Number: 2006.32.15

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


This evocative portrait reveals the deeply intertwined personal and artistic lives of members of the Surrealist circle and depicts
the movement’s fascination with dreamlike states. Gala Éluard was muse and lover to three members of the Surrealist movement: her two husbands, poet Paul Éluard and artist Salvador Dalí, and Ernst, who painted this work based on Man Ray’s photograph of Éluard’s eyes. With curious forms rising from her unfurling forehead, Éluard becomes an imagined embodiment of Surrealism’s wide-eyed interest in art’s power to explore the mysterious territories of the unconscious mind.