Art and Tradition

Examples of surrealism


What is surrealism?

Surrealism refers to an artistic movement that was quite important for the 1920s, born in France. Its main representativeness is based on the superposition of reality within the field of art, this in contrast to bourgeois rationalism and the artistic impositions of the moment.

Its spread in Europe begins after World War I and ending World War II and with the passage of time it has been imposed until the present date. This type of art is considered a revolutionary and innovative movement that caused the transformation of the realistic artistic concept by introducing new elements and dynamics into this world.

The founder of surrealism is Andrés Breton . Its purpose was to investigate through art the unconscious of the viewer during the post-war period. The word surrealism is of French origin surréalisme and that whose meaning translates as “that which is above realism”.

Purpose of surrealism

Outside of the stability and uniformity of other movements, Surrealism was oriented according to the search and discovery of new artistic techniques , picturesque and new perspectives that would refresh the new context of art. Within the literary aspect, he completely revolutionized the language that was used until then, thus fragmenting the rigid rules imposed by then, embracing himself with the strangeness and rarity offered by the subconscious.

The surrealism established itself as a great school of importance and relevance in Europe and America, molding itself through political and social techniques. This allowed society to give a voice of liberation and a cry of hope to those who have always been silenced.


  • Through art and literature it expresses all the absurdity located within each viewer or reader.
  • It is played by the
  • Its main expression is the unconscious.
  • It represents reality in its absurd parts.
  • Through it myths, fables and fantasies are projected.
  • It aims to overcome the limitations that stable in the unconscious.
  • Defend artistic expression without any type of limit or control on the part of reason.
  • Through automatism , what the subconscious observes, without any control, is put on paper.
  • It is interested in the thoughts of the innermost dreams or desires.

Examples of surrealism

In the literature

  1. André Bretón (1896-1966), French writer and poet, founder of the movement.
  2. Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), French poet, playwright and actor, creator of the “theater of cruelty”.
  3. Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), Spanish poet and playwright, assassinated and disappeared by the ranks of the Franco regime.
  4. Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), French poet, novelist and essayist, famous for his calligrams.
  5. Jacques Prévert (1900-1977), French poet and playwright, film scriptwriter and communist militant.
  6. René Char (1907-1988), French poet, moved away from surrealism in 1938.
  7. Octavio Paz (1914-1998), Mexican poet and essayist, Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1990.

At the cinema

  1. Luis Buñuel (1900-1983), Spanish film director, known for his short film: An Andalusian Dog (1929) and his numerous collaborations with Dalí.
  2. Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French poet, novelist, playwright, painter and filmmaker.

In the plastic arts

  1. Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Spanish painter, sculptor and writer, was one of the most famous surrealists in the world.
  2. René Magritte (1898-1967), Belgian painter who gave surrealism a conceptual charge, famous for his painting “this is not a pipe”.
  3. Joan Miró (1893-1983), Spanish painter, sculptor and engraver, his work investigated the universe of children and local Catalan traditions.
  4. Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French painter and chess player, famous for his work Fountain (given to an exhibition under the pseudonym R. MUTT) consisting of a urinal.
  5. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), Mexican painter famous for her self-referential and feminist work, as well as for her love affair with the Mexican muralist Diego de Rivera.

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