Max Ernst (1891-1976) has long been one of my favorite artists. I had no idea, until browsing through the Penguin SF cover images from the 60s, that his art appeared on a variety of SF/F novels and related literature/nonfiction…. Yes, I had seen the memorable cover for J. G. Ballard’s The Crystal World (1966) [below] but I had not put the two together.
My favorite is without a doubt the use of Ernst’s awe-inspiring Europe After the Rain II (1940-42) for J. G. Ballard’s collection of stories, Memories of the Space Age (1988). The malaise generated by his landscapes of decay combined with the sheer power of Ballard’s visions evoke are almost palpable shudders of joy…
There are a handful more but I have included most of the 50s to early 80s examples.
And today, April 2nd, is Max Ernst’s birthday! So, share, if you are so inclined, your favorite of his works of art. And, feel free to identify any that might appear on the covers below… Too bad more publishers don’t latch onto the joy that are his collages (do a google search and you will understand).
(Max Ernst, Europe After the Rain, cover for the 1988 edition of J. G. Ballard’s Memories of the Space Age, 1988)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1963 edition of James Blish’s A Case of Conscience, 1958)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1968 edition—although it was used on the 1966 edition as well—of J. G. Ballard’s The Crystal World, 1966)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1974 edition of Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, 1959)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1977 edition of Stanislaw Lem’s Mortal Engines, 1977)
(Max Ernst’s 1963 cover for the edition of Eric Frank Russell’s Three to Conquer, 1955)
(Max Ernst’s 1965 cover for Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, 1962)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1950 edition of Fitz-James O’Brien’s Qu’était-ce?, 1950)
(Max Ernst’s 1963 cover for The Day it Rained Forever, Ray Bradbury, 1959)
(Max Ernst’s cover for the 1988 edition of David Pringle’s Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels, 1988)
For more adventures in SF cover art consult the INDEX