This 'portrait' was made with a technique known as decalcomania, frequently used by the the Surrealists. Paint was brushed onto very smooth paper, which was covered immediately with another sheet of paper. The two pages were pressed together and then the top sheet was removed to reveal a spongy-textured and highly suggestive surface. The subject of the picture was inspired by the images the artist could 'read' into the textured paint. Hugnet has satirically titled his work a portrait of Albertus Magnus, a thirteenth-century, German theologian and alchemist who was a hero of the Surrealist group.