He asks the packers to take good care of Mrs. Capricorn as she is very fragile.
Capricorn was Max Ernst’s sculptural masterpiece, which he finished while living in Sedona, Arizona, where he lived with his wife Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) from 1946 till 1953. They built the small, secluded house in the desert that they called Capricorn Hill. The plastic Capricorn came about when they got electricity and running water a year after they moved there. The concrete mixer they purchased was not only used to build houses. Max Ernst came into contact with the indigenous people, the Hopi, and studied their art. He was particularly interested in the kachina dolls and the ceremonial masks. He created a larger-than-life cement sculpture in 1948, inspired by folk art. When Chagall moved back to Europe in 1953 he took a copy of his work, which was the base for Capricorn.
8.3.1971 (typed letter with signature „Max Ernst“):
[…] J’étais enchanté de l’avant-propos que vous avez fait pour l’Orangerie. Je vous verrai surement dans cet endroit aux environs du 2 avril. Je me réjouis d’avance, de vous remercier de vive voix. […]“ Max Ernst writes that he was delighted with Jean Leymarie’s foreword for the Orangerie, he is looking forward seeing him in April to thank him in person.
A retrospective of 104 works spanning the years 1920–1968, drawn entirely from the Menil Collection, toured Europe from 1970 to 1972 and also were shown at Musée de l'Orangerie. The opening of the exhibition in Paris was augmented with 44 pieces from various collations and opened on 2 April 1971, Max Ernst's 80th birthday..