1891 Born in the town of Brühl near Cologne, the son of a keen amateur painter.
1909-12 Studies philosophy, psychology and art history at the University of Bonn.
1914-18 Serves in the German Army but continues to paint.
1918 After demobilisation he joins the Dada movement. Marries the art historian Louise Strauss.
1921 The Parisian Dada group mount an exhibition of Ernst’s collages. Paul Eluard and his wife Gala visit him in Cologne.
1922 Leaves his wife and moves to Paris where he lives with the Eluards.
1924 Eluard travels to the Far East. Ernst and Gala meet him in Saigon. Ernst stays as the Eluards return.
1925 Back in Paris he moves into his own studio.
1926 Ernst develops the frottage technique. Designs sets for Diaghilev’s production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
1927 Marries Marie-Berthe Aurenche.
1928 Exhibition of his work at the Galerie Georges Bernheim.
1938 Moves to St Martin d’Ardeche with the English painter Leonora Carrington.
1939 Ernst is interned as an enemy alien on the outbreak of war.
1941 After suffering a mental breakdown he escapes to New York.
1942 Marries Peggy Guggenheim but the relationship does not last.
1946 Ernst marries the surrealist painter Dorothea Tanning and settles in Arizona.
1948 Becomes an American citizen.
1953 Returns to live in Paris.
1954 Wins the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale.
1955 Ernst and his wife move to live near Chinon in France.
1958 Becomes a French citizen.
1975 Major retrospectives of his work are held in New York and Paris.
1976 Dies in Paris.
1920 Here Everything is Still Floating, New York, MOMA
1920 Little Machine Constructed by Minimax Dadamax in Person, Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
1921 Celebes, London, Tate
1922 Rendez-vous of Friends, Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum
1923 Pietà or Revolution by Night, London, Tate
1923 Ubu Imperator, Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou
1923 Of This Men Shall Know Nothing, London, Tate
1924 Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale, New York, MOMA
1925 The Habit of Leaves, New York, MOMA
1927 The Horde, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum
1928 Forest and Dove, London, Tate
1941 Napoleon in the Wilderness, New York, MOMA
1940-2 Europe After the Rain, Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum
1944 The King Playing with the Queen, New York, MOMA