Max Ernst, highly experimental painter, sculptor, and printmaker, never received any formal artistic training. Together with Jean Arp and Alfred Grünwald, he formed a Dada group in Cologne. In 1922, he joined the art community at Montparnasse. Ernst experimented with Surrealist techniques such as "grattage," scraping dry paint away from the canvas, and "decalcomania," manipulating the surface texture of paint by pressing other materials into the wet surface. In 1934, influenced by Alberto Giacometti, Ernst began working in sculptural media. He expanded this interest while living in the United States, mostly through the manipulation of found objects.
In addition to his progressive painting and sculpture, Ernst produced hundreds of lithographs, etchings, and linoleum cuts, including his first major print collection of lithographs, "Let there be Fashion, Down with Art." Though he was prolific in these conventional media, the artist was highly inventive in the graphic arts. His works photo-mechanically manipulated the art of collage into print, and he often worked with photo-engraving, as published in his book, "Reve d'une Petite Fille Qui Voulut Entrer au Carmel." In 1925, he invented a technique called "frottage" that involves pencil rubbings of textured objects as a starting point for images, and published his "Histoire Naturelle" collection of images created in this technique.