The work

The "Immortel", without being in itself a motive, is a work conceived on the forty-five movements of a chess game.

Each move offers a new reading by the interplay of chessmen forms, sometimes opposing, sometimes offering new perspectives, sometimes creating repetitive forms.

Some pretend that the reference game have been imagined during an evening where Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst had fun to create combinations based on graphical beauty of the game, rather than its fun quality.

Its giant glass creation, by the effects of transparency or mirror, transcends this work by multiplying an infinite number of angles of vision and light games.

As poet Verdet, Picasso’s accomplice, well said: "Max Ernst’s Chessboard became a masterpiece of bewitching magic, worthy of a Maya palace or the residence of a Pharaon".

Thus, the glass gave new power and new forms of understanding of wooden model forms.
For example, the figure of queen represents the whole chessboard sublimating both her feminity and dominance of her status. The king says his power by the heavy form of its base and its relationship to the divine powers by its oblique size whose progressive transparency meets in the endless sky. The horse, symbolised by the curve of its neck, seems ready to jump into the light as the rules of the game give him this power…

We understand better why, upon death of Max Ernst, the Almanach illustrated his work by presenting only one piece "Immortel" and by defining it as one of the major sculptures of the twentieth century.


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