Max Ernst (April 2, 1891 – April 1, 1976) was a German Dadaist and surrealist artist.
Max Ernst was born on April 2, 1891 in Brühl, Germany. In 1910, he enrolled in the University of Bonn to study philosophy, literature, art history, psychology and psychiatry. He completed his studies in 1914 just as WWI broke out.
In 1918 he married the art historian Luise Straus — a stormy relationship that would not last. She died in Auschwitz in 1945 . In 1919 Ernst visited Paul Klee and created his first paintings, block prints and collages, and experimented with mixed media. During World War I he served in the German army and after the war, filled with new ideas, Ernst, Jean Arp and social activist Alfred Grünwald, formed the Cologne, Germany Dada group, but two years later, in 1922, he returned to the artistic community at Montparnasse in Paris.
Constantly experimenting, in 1925 he invented a graphic art technique called frottage, which uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images. The next year he collaborated with Joan Miró on designs for Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Ernst pioneered grattage in which he troweled pigment from his canvases.
Ernst drew a great deal of controversy with his 1926 painting The Virgin Chastises the infent Jesus before Three Witnesses: André Breton, Paul Éluard, and the Painter.
In Montparnasse he was a central figure in the birth of Breton's desire to ostracize Ernst's friend Éluard.
In 1927 he married Marie-Berthe Aurenche. It is said that "his relationship with her may have inspired the erotic subject matter of this painting and others of this year." 
Ernst began to sculpt in 1934, and spent time with Alberto Giacometti.
In 1938, the United new museum in London.
Ernst developed a fascination with birds that was prevalent in his work. His alter ego in paintings, that he called Loplop, was a bird that he suggested was an extension of himself stemming from an early confusion of birds and humans. He said his sister was born soon after his bird died. Loplop often appeared in collages of other artists work, such as collages like Loplop presents André Breton, and they usually had a bird foot-like object superimposed on another artist's of the Bride.
Following the onset of World War II, Ernst was detained as an enemy alien in France but with the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry in Marseille, he managed to escape the country with Peggy Guggenheim. He left behind his lover, Leonora Carrington, which caused her to suffer a major mental breakdown. Ernst and Guggenheim arrived in the United States in 1941 and were married the following year. Along with other artists and friends (Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall) who had fled from the war and lived in New York City, Ernst helped inspire the development of Abstract expressionism.
His marriage to Guggenheim did not last, and in Beverly Hills, California in October of 1946, in a double ceremony with Man Ray and Juliet Browner, he married Dorothea Tanning.
Ernst remained primarily in the United States, living in Sedona, Arizona, and in 1948 wrote the treatise Beyond Painting. As a result of the publicity, he began to achieve financial success.
In 1963 he and Tanning moved to a small town in the south of France where he continued to work. He City, and the Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais in Paris published a complete catalogue of his works.
Ernst died on April 1, 1976, in Paris, France and was interred there in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.