Famous Artist Of Surrealism And Pop Surrealistic Paintings

Famous Artists Of Surrealism

What Exactly Is Surrealism?

Surrealism is an artistic movement that developed in Europe after World War I. The movement focuses on using the unconscious mind to create. 

Famous Surrealist Artists

  1. Andre Breton
  2. Max Ernst
  3. Yves Tanguy
  4. Joan Miró
  5. René Magritte
  6. Salvador Dali

Andre Breton - The Founder of Surrealism

Andre Breton - The Founder of Surrealism

Andre Breton was an influential French writer and famous surrealist artist who helped form Surrealism. He is recognized with pioneering automatism, the unconscious act of writing, drawing, or painting as a means to illustrate the inattentive thought. 

Andre Breton's surrealist paintings are regarded as poetic expressions of his thoughts.

‚ÄúSurrealism is based on the belief in the omnipotence of dreams, in the undirected play of thought,‚ÄĚ - Andre Breton

Max Ernst -The Co-Founder of Surrealism

 Max Ernst-The Co-Founder of Surrealism

Max Ernst was a leading German avant-garde surrealist artist who helped found both Dadaism and Surrealism.

Max Ernst accomplished great works of art in a variety of media including film, collage, painting, and frottage‚ÄĒa manner wherein he secured pencil rubbings of various objects as¬†a material for surrealist paintings.¬†Ernst¬†progressed the technique of frottage which he¬†at times used in his surrealist art.

‚ÄúCreativity is that marvelous capacity to grasp mutually distinct realities and draw a spark from their juxtaposition,‚ÄĚ - Max Ernst

Yves Tanguy - The God Father of Surrealism

Yves Tanguy- The God Father of Surrealism

Yves Tanguy is a quintessential surrealist due to his astonishing personality which was exhibited in his form of surrealism.

An affable and unusual surrealist who even ate spiders as a performance trick, he was a close associate of Andre Breton. Tanguy was renowned for his disfigured rocks and heated surfaces that presented the meaning of the surrealism movement.

Yves Tanguy was self-taught and highly accomplished, Tanguy painted a hyper-real world with marvelous exactness. His panoramas, a high-octane combination of reality and fantasy, attracted the notice of influential surrealists like Salvador Dalí and Mark Rothko who have acknowledged Tanguy for being an original surrealist.  

"The painting develops before my eyes, unfolding its surprises as it progresses. It is this which gives me a sense of complete liberty, and for this reason, I am incapable of forming a plan or making a sketch beforehand." - Yves Tanguy 

Who Is The True Father Of Surrealism?


Joan Miró 

Joan Miró

Miró displayed a solid love of drawing at an early age; he said he was

"an exceptionally poor student...quiet, rather distant, and a visionary."

"Throughout the time in which I am working on a canvas, I can feel how I am beginning to love it, with that love which is born of slow comprehension." - Joan Miró


René Magritte 

René Magritte

The most observed Belgian artist of the twentieth century, René Magritte is an extraordinarily accomplished artist.

Well-known for his peculiar way of expressing Surrealism. Magritte spent numerous years functioning as a commercial artist.

"The purpose of art is a mystery." - René Magritte

René Magritte famous quotes.

Surrealism Definition 

According to the dictionary.com:

"Surrealism is the principles, ideals, or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in art, literature, film, or theater by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations."

So who was the first person to use the word surrealist?

Artist Guillaume Apollinaire is the first person to use the word ‚Äúsurrealist‚ÄĚ in 1917 to describe Jean Cocteau‚Äôs ballet Parade, and the term appeared in his own play Les Mamelles de Tir√©sias.

Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire Photograph

André Breton, who later founded the Surrealist movement, embraced the name for the Manifeste du surréalisme (1924), and Breton's description of the word is interpreted as

‚Äúpure psychic automatism, which is intended to express, the real process of thought in humankind. It is the dictation of thought, free from any control by the reason, and of any aesthetic or moral preoccupation of society.‚ÄĚ

The word surreal became part of the common language in the following decades and enrolled in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1967.

The encyclopedia describes it as

“marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream."

Guillaume Apollinaire may not be famous surrealist artists, however, he was the first to come up with the surrealist word. 


The Surrealism Movement

Surrealism is a sociological movement that began in the early 1920s, it's recognized for its visual artworks and writings. Artists painted unnerving, illogical pictures with lifelike accurate precision, imagined exotic creations from everyday things, and advanced composition techniques that allowed the unconscious to manifest itself.

The surrealists attempted to direct the unconscious as a system to open the power of the imagination.

Ignoring reasoning and belletristic reality, and powerfully inspired by psychoanalysis, the Surrealists thought the conscious mind controlled the power of the imagination.

The Surrealism art movement was influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud who was profoundly instrumental for Surrealists, especially his book, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899).

Freud legitimized the significance of dreams and the unconscious as authentic visions of human emotion and desires; his presentation of the complicated and repressed internal worlds of passion, love, and struggle presented a philosophical basis for much of Surrealism.

The Best Pop Surrealism Books



The Most Famous Surrealist Paintings

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali                             

Unquestionably the most famous surrealist painting in history, The Persistence of Memory is Salvador Dali’s iconic poem to time.

The melting clocks reveal the internal workings of Dali’s subconscious and carry a simple message: time as we understand it is trivial.

The Surrealism Of Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí was recognized for his erratic art and a unique public character his ability to pair these two components served him in rising beyond the rest of the surrealists. 

¬†‚ÄúThe difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist‚ÄĚ. - Salvador Dal√≠


The Son of Man by Rene Magritte            

The Son of Man by Rene Magritte                                                     

Rene Magritte painted The Son of Man as a surrealist self-portrait with the purpose of communicating vital messages regarding the individual.

In regards to this composition, Magritte affirmed that:

‚ÄúEverything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.‚ÄĚ

This Is Not a Pipe by Rene Magritte

This Is Not a Pipe by Rene Magritte

In order to highlight Magritte‚Äôs feeling that art was not an actuality but a symbol of actual reality, Magritte painted the well-recognized masterpiece ‚ÄúThis Is Not a Pipe‚ÄĚ a classic surrealist portrait.

In the work, Magritte did, in fact, depict a pipe nevertheless attempted to convey to the observer that the pipe wasn’t really a pipe but an illustration of the real thing.

Magritte’s surrealist portrait holds true to the surrealist style, as it removes signs and represents the meaning of surrealism. This Is Not a Pipe is one of the most iconic surrealist paintings.

The Women of Surrealism

Meret Oppenheim

Meret Oppenheim Surrealist

German surrealist Meret Oppenheim entered the Surrealism movement in 1932. As a surrealist painter and sculptor, Meret Oppenheim's most famous artwork is 1936’s Object, a sculpture of teacup, saucer, and spoon all encased in fur she would later make surrealist paintings depicting her subconscious. 

Remedios Varo

Remedios Varo Surrealist

Spanish surrealist Remedios Varo escaped her native country and settled up in Mexico in 1940.

A confidential friend of Carrington, Remedios Varo worked as a popular illustrator in Mexico, she has often given credit to Carrington and the surrealism movement which has inspired her to develop her own individual style, as well as her unique tendency to place herself in her surrealism paintings.


Surrealism Photography

Surrealism Photography

Surrealistic photography became a central role in the surrealist movement in the 1970s.

What is surrealism in photography?

Surrealistic photography pioneers Man Ray and Maurice Tabard used photography techniques such as double exposure, combination printing, and montage to excited the viewer with their surrealism images. 

Surrealism Timeline - Discover the significant dates associated with the surrealist movement.
  • 1917 - Guillaume Apollinaire uses the word surrealist for the first time ever.
  • 1922 - Conception of the "motion blur", which will contribute to the Surrealism movement.
  • 1925 - The Pierre Gallery holds an exhibition of artist Joan Miro in Paris one of the pioneers of the surrealism movement.
  • 1930 - The third Surrealist Manifesto is published by Robert Desnos.
  • 1936 - The Surrealist group Contre Attaque decides to split.
  • 1947 - International Exhibition of Surrealism.
  • 1959 - The Museum of Modern Art embraces the retrospective compositions of Max Ernst in Paris.
  • 1964 - The Charpentier Gallery carries a retrospective regarding the Surrealism in Paris.

Surrealism Today And Surrealistic Digital Art

 Surrealism Today And Surrealistic Digital Art

Surrealism today involves a multitude of art techniques.

Surrealism Art Techniques

What Is Surrealistic Decalcomania?

Surrealistic Decalcomania ‚Äď spreading heavy paint on a canvas, and while still damp, embracing it with paper or foil. The process of the pattern becomes the base of the polished composition.

What Is Surrealistic Grattage?

Surrealistic Grattage ‚Äď the method of rubbing the paint off the canvas to unveil the print located underneath the painting.

What Is Surrealistic Collage?

Surrealistic Collage ‚Äď which is joining several components to create a complete artwork.

What Is Surrealistic Frottage?

Surrealistic Frottage ‚Äď a process of using pencil rubbings upon a textured object.¬†

What Is Surrealistic Cubomania?

Surrealistic Cubomania ‚Äď a style of the surrealistic collage, where the illustration is fashioned in squares and attached arbitrarily. This system was developed by Romanian Surrealist artist Gherasim Luca.


Surrealistic Digital Art

 Surrealistic Digital art

What is Surrealistic Digital Art?

Surrealistic Digital Art - is the production of surrealism art by practice and application process which uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process.

The surrealist digital art is as varied depending on the style of the digital artist and their skill to manifest their inner vision into reality. 

21st Century Pop Surrealist Artists


Check out these Famous Artists who have shaped the art world!

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