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1891-1922
Max Ernst in Germany
Artistic Beginnings and Dada in Cologne


1891

Max Ernst is born on April 2 in Brühl, near Cologne, as the son of the deaf-mute teacher and amateur painter Philipp Ernst and his wife Luise, née Kopp.

1897–1910

Schooling in Brühl.

1910–14

Studies classical philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and art history at Bonn University.

1911

Meets August Macke and joins the Junges Rheinland circle.

1912

Max Ernst writes art and theatre reviews for the Volksmund in Bonn and decides to become a painter.

1913

Max Ernst exhibits with the Rhenish Expressionists. Five-week stay in Paris. Meets Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay at August Macke’s home.

1914

Start of the friendship with Hans Arp.

1914–48

Max Ernst is called up as an artillerist shortly after the outbreak of World War I.

1916

Meets George Grosz and Wieland Herzfelde on the occasion of an exhibition at the gallery Der Sturm during a brief vacation in Berlin.

1917

The journal Der Sturm publishes Max Ernst’s essay “Vom Werden der Farbe.”

1918

Returns to Cologne. Marries the art historian Luise Straus.

1919

Visits Paul Klee in Munich and sees reproductions of Giorgio de Chirico’s works in the art magazine Valori plastici. The portfolio of lithographs Fiat modes pereat ars is published. Founds the Cologne Dada group together with Hans Arp and Johannes Theodor Baargeld. First Dada exhibition in Cologne. Produces his first collages.

1920

Birth of his son, Hans-Ulrich, known as Jimmy. Max Ernst and Johannes Theodor jointly publish die schammade. Second and final Dada exhibition in Cologne.

1921

Exhibition of collages in Paris upon the invitation of André Breton. Max Ernst vacations with Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber, Tristan Tzara, and André Breton in Tarrenz (Tyrol). Meets Paul and Gala Éluard in Cologne. Der Elefant von Celebes.