A history of surrealism, surreal art, and the artists involved in the surrealist art movement. A definitive history of the surrealist movement.

Sur - re - al - ism (n.) -(often l.c.) a style of art and literature developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions, etc.

Surrealism was developed by the 20th-century literary and artistic movement. The surrealist movement of visual art and literature, flourished in Europe between World Wars I and II. Surrealism grew principally out of the earlier Dada movement, which before World War I produced works of anti-art that deliberately defied reason; but Surrealism emphasis was not on negation but on positive expression. The movement represented a reaction against what its members saw as the destruction wrought by the "rationalism" that had guided European culture and politics in the past and had culminated in the horrors of World War I. According to the major spokesman of the movement, the poet and critic André Breton, who published "The Surrealist Manifesto" in 1924, Surrealism was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely, that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in "an absolute reality, a surreality." Drawing heavily on theories adapted from Sigmund Freud, Breton saw the unconscious as the wellspring of the imagination. He defined genius in terms of accessibility to this normally untapped realm, which, he believed, could be attained by poets and painters alike. This movement continues to flourish at all ends of the earth. Continued thought processes and investigations into the mind produce today some of the best art ever seen.
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