Last modified on February 16, 2022, at 23:06


Dali's The Christ of St. John of the Cross

Surrealism was an artistic movement that began in the early-1920s, as a reaction against the rationalism that resulted in the horrors of World War I, and as an alternative to the irrational cubism. Poet Andrew Bretun published "The Surrealistic Manifesto" in 1924 to spearhead this movement, which strived for "an absolute reality, a surreality."[1] Salvador Dali popularized surrealism, and it has some similarities to the Book of Revelation.

Surrealism captures infinity as no other art form does. The intersection of the infinite and the finite, both space and time, is vividly on display in Salvador Dali's The Christ of St. John of the Cross (Dali's painting to the right).

As one commentator explained:

Surrealist artists aimed to expose psychological truth and as a result created abstract images in order to evoke empathy from the viewer. Highly individualized, the movement relied heavily on the element of the unexpected, borrowed from various Dadaist techniques and eventually came to represent the alienation many experienced in the wake of a war stricken world.

Famous Surrealists

The Persistence Of Memory by Salvador Dali.

The most famous surrealist artist was Salvador Dali, who is credited with the surrealist painting The Persistence Of Memory. Other famous surrealists were Max Ernst, Remedios Varo (1908–1963) and René Magritte. Dali remained a devoted surrealist throughout his entire life, after dabbling and and then rejecting both anarchism and communism as a youth.

In Mexico, Remedios Varo with Leonora Carrington developed an illusionistic Surrealism.

Sigmund Freud

The overpromoted liberal Sigmund Freud is given too much credit for the surrealist movement, in which adherents felt that the rational mind repressed the immense power of the imagination.

See also

Magritte Beautiful World.JPG

Rene Magritte, Beautiful World.
  1. The coining of the term Surrealism is credited to Guillaume Apollinaire.