Designed by Max Ernst (1891-1976) and crafted in Murano Venice, this tile measures 7 5'8" x 6 3/8" and is roughly 7/8" thick. The glass is clear, with a greenish tint, and has iridescent tints over some of the surface, with gold showing up in recessed areas. It is signed M Ernst in the lower left corner and is inscribed on the back: "Natale 1997, Auguri Gregory, Egidio Constantini, Venezia". Constantini was a glass maker in Murano, whose work was often a collaboration with artists to create actual works of art, his goal since he began working in glass studios in Venice. He opened his first studio there in 1955, and was helped by Peggy Guggenheim in the 1960s to work with important artists to create masterworks in glass. In addition to Ernst, he created works by Picasso, Calder, Arp and Severini.
This tile depicts a stylized face, one seen in other Ernst glass works and in bronzes, and it is raised above the background tile. One of his bronzes has this face, and is titled "Cheri Bibi". The glass surface is rippled and textured, all visible in close up photos. His works in glass vary in color, size, and format, with many in a mask form like this one.
The tile is in perfect condition, no chips, cracks or abrasions. The photos were taken against a grey background, which may make the glass seem a bit darker, but it is clear, with a very slight greenish hue and the iridescence mentioned above.
Max Ernst (1891-1976), one of the leading modernist painters in the early and mid 20th century, was also a leader in the Dada and Surrealist movements. He was born in Germany, where he painted from an early age, and spent time in both Germany and France, working with modernist artists of the time. Eventually he ended up in the US, where he married Peggy Guggenheim and continued his experimental techniques and styles. He returned to Europe, living in France until his death in 1976. His influence in the modernist movement was considerable, and his works range from drawing, to sculpture, painting, and creations in glass. His glass works were made in Murano Venice, in collaboration with master craftsmen there.
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