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Portrait of Paul Éluard

1925
Max Ernst, American (born Germany), 1891 - 1976. Portrait of Paul Éluard, French, 1895 - 1952

French poet Paul Éluard and artist Max Ernst were pioneering members of the Dada and Surrrealist movements in Paris in the 1920s. Ernst invented an unusual and intentionally disorienting drawing technique, known as frottage.


To make a frottage, Ernst placed his paper directly on a surface—here, a worn floor—and rubbed it with black chalk, transfering the texture onto the sheet. He then elaborated on the resulting image, in this case transforming it into an unusual yet unmistakable portrait of his lifelong friend.

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