One of the finest examples of the link between Ernst's paintings and sculptures could be the comparison between Capricorn (pictured here) and his oil painting, The Elephant Celebes, both of which include bull horns and influences from African art. To personally hand craft these features would have given the artist a real sense of enjoyment and also leave a more lasting demonstration of the ideas lying deep in his mind rather than the relatively flat painting. As his career developed, knowledge learnt in each of these disciplines could then be used to improve his work in other mediums too. You will see advancements being passed from one to another, and back again over the years in which he continually saught improvement and change.
Max Ernst was an artist who did not desire precision nor clarity in his work. This has proved unfortunate in our efforts to analyse both his surrealist sculptures and paintings. It has also encouraged academics to widen the breadth of the explanations about items in his compositions, more so than perhaps has been helpful. He found sculpture to be fun and a truly experimental medium in which his creativity could be 100% unleashed. For example, for Capricorn which is one of his most famous sculptures, he would make use of a wide variety of materials during the production process including cement and scrap iron with assists from box tops, eggshells, springs, cartons and boxes among others.
There has been a growing interest in exhibiting the sculptures of multi-skilled masters such as Picasso and Ernst. The public have responded with impressive visitor numbers and this has further encouraged venues to provide exhibitions that cover established artists from new directions. Max Ernst would make use of sculpture right across the full span of his career and consistently made use of totem-like symbols. African art seemed to be particularly influential here. He liked to make use of sturdy materials such as bronze, iron and stone. Late in his career this ever-experimenting artist, chose to make use of glass for the first time and even produced a series of chess pieces from that. His work for Capricorn was re-used in a number of different formats once initially completed.