8,483 artworks, 1,362 artists
Surrealism was formed in the 1920s in France under the influence of the nihilistic art of Dada and the philosophical research of that time. The name comes from the French surrealisme. In a few years, the art movement has become popular throughout Europe. This was mostly facilitated by the popularity of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis and his hypothesis that sleep is the work of a person’s true subconscious. Surrealists considered fundamental the thesis that creative energy comes from the sphere of the subconscious and manifests itself during sleep, hypnosis, sudden insights, often caused by alcohol or drugs, which alter consciousness.

Surrealism is characterized by a wide variety of expressive forms and techniques – from collage to drafting. However, with all the variety of forms, the style itself has a very rigid content. It strongly declares the illogical, the variability of images, fiction and absurdity. One of the main goals of surrealist artists was the idea of rebellion and the creation of reality taken through their subconscious, and not the reality of the world around.

By the mid-1960s, it became clear that the style did not achieve its objectives. Surrealism began to degrade, commercialize and fill with frank kitsch and eclecticism. Nevertheless, this style and its techniques are still used by many artists, but the emphasis has shifted from meaningful symbolism to its greater phantasmagoricity.

Significant surrealist paintings:
Max ErnstThe Garden of France (1962)
Salvador DalíDream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)
René MagritteElective Affinities (1933)

Surrealist artists:
Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Frida Kahlo, Paul Delvaux, Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Roberto Matta.