Install Theme


Dorothea Tanning (1910‑2012)

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik


Oil on canvas

40,7 x 61 cm


By the door of the ranch Tanning planted some sunflower seeds and she became fascinated with these plants. She saw the sunflower in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as ‘a symbol of all the things that youth has to face and to deal with,’ and it represented the ‘never-ending battle we wage with unknown forces, the forces that were there before our civilisation’. The apparent intervention of unexplained or supernatural forces in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik recalls characteristics of the Gothic novels that Tanning read in her youth, and which were admired by many of the artists and writers of the surrealist group with whom she associated in the 1940s and beyond.”