Surrealism

Lasted 42 years

Background History

The artistic movement of surrealism started in Paris in the 1920's. It was mainly inspired by Andre Breton. It started because people wanted to escape reality, and explore images that were dream-like or impossible to really see. At the time, people were stuck in a dreary mindset gravitating toward World War I, so drawing things that were unrealistically whimsical was the main concept.

Major Artists of Surrealism

Paul Delvaux was from Belgium and excelled in Surrealism. He drew modern characters in old settings, and he was influential because he inspired the idea that time and space are always changing.


Max Ernst was from Germany and he enjoyed using very bright colors. He also loved birds and incorporated them in lots of his works. He influenced others to experiment with vivid colors in their artwork.


Frida Kahlo was from Mexico and claimed to not even be a surreal artist. However, her works are obviously dream-like and have inspired others to see and work with surrealism.


Hans Bellmer was from Germany and many people probably find him quite creepy. He is the most famous for his picture The Doll, and he painted a lot of disembodied dolls. He was influential because of his strange ideas, which were provocative, but he still made an impact on art.


Rene Magritte was from Belgium. He excelled in drawing things related to complicated physics and space. He was influential because he forced the viewer of his artwork to view it in a different way.


Andre Breton was from France and he was not only an artist, but also a writer/poet. He is known for starting the Surrealism Movement, and he had lots of artwork that was very odd and surreal. He opened up the door of potential artistic ideas for many people.


The Barbarians by Max Ernst

This piece is my favorite from the Surrealism movement. It's very odd and random. There is a lot of texture on the creatures' bodies, the positive and negative space are balanced, and there are very unique values.