The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine


From One Dough (1996) by Martin Stejskal, Jan Svankmajer, Eva Svankmajerová.

From A Dictionary of Surrealism by José Pierre (Eyre Methuen, 1974):

Exquisite corpse. The most famous of the surrealist games takes its name from the opening sentence that materialized: “Le cadavre—exquis—boira—le vin—nouveau” (1925) (The exquisite corpse—will drink—the new wine). It was produced by five players writing in turn subject, adjective, verb, object, complement, each folding over the paper so that the next player could not see what had been already written. The violent whiff of strangeness and the droll effects obtained by these verbal collages reappeared in the drawn “exquisite corpses” in which Surrealist poets and painters often combined. Despite the fact that each contribution—especially in the case of painters—is relatively identifiable, the total effect (mostly in the form of a “personage”) results from the combined elements. In this, the “exquisite corpse” can claim to have scored a victory for collective invention over individual invention and over the “signature”.


Nude (1926–27) by Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, Max Morise, Man Ray.


Exquisite Corpse (1927) by André Masson, Max Ernst, Max Morise.


Exquisite Corpse (1928) by Man Ray, André Breton, Yves Tanguy, and Max Morise.


Exquisite Corpse (1928) by Man Ray, Max Morise, André Breton, Yves Tanguy.


Exquisite Corpse (1928) by Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, Max Morise.


Exquisite Corpse (1932) by Salvador Dalí, Gala Dalí, Valentine Hugo, André Breton.


Exquisite Corpse (no date) by George Hugnet, Yves Tanguy, Germaine Hugnet, Jeanette Tanguy.


Landscape (1933) by Valentine Hugo, André Breton, Tristan Tzara, Greta Knutson.


Figure (1934) by André Breton, Jacques Hérold, Yves Tanguy, Victor Brauner.


Exquisite Corpse (1935) by Esteban Francés, Remedios Varo, Oscar Domínguez, Marcel Jean.


Exquisite Corpse (1938) by André Breton, Yves Tanguy, Jacqueline Lamba.

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5 thoughts on “The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine”

  1. John. I’m enjoying your explorations of wider surrealism, but wondered if the attribution for “From One Dough (1996) by Milos Stejskal, Jan Svankmajer, Eva Svankmajerová.” is slightly incorrect. I’m guessing it should be Martin Stejskal, rather than ‘Milos’. Martin has been and continues to an active member of the Czech group since the late 6o’s / early 70’s, and I’m unaware of a ‘Milos Stejskal’ from around 1996. The contribution to the Exquisite Corpse featured certainly looks like Martin’s work?

  2. Thanks, Bill. I got that attribution from an auction site but didn’t check elsewhere. Martin does indeed seem more likely. There is a Milos Stejskal who’s a film producer but he doesn’t seem to have had any connections with the Svankmajers.

  3. No worries. Martin’s work has been something of a loadstone for me on a personal level, although he’s relatively unknown outside of CZ. His involvement with the Czech and Slovak group predates Jan’s.

    Martin is deeply interested in Hermeticism and I recall visiting a marvellous exhibition he curated, at the Star Castle, on the symbolism of the Star. Sadly, as is the case with the Czech and Slovak surrealists, little of his work is in English but I did pick this up when it came out…

    You may find some of his short animations of interest. This one draws upon experiments with LSD conducted in 1969 that both he and Jan participated in, at the instigation of Ludvík Šváb (
    All the best.

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