SurrealistSurrealism as a movement originated in the 1920s when Andre Breton gathered together a group of artists and writers under this title and created a philosophy for them (Apollinaire first used the word 'surrealiste' in 1917). Their objective was 'pure psychic automatism'. In other words, they wanted to explore the irrational and subconscious, to break free from preconceived pictorial and literary norms. Some artists such as Dali created dream landscapes, while others such as Miro moved towards greater degrees of abstraction. Other famous artists whose work has been described as Surrealist include Picabia, Magritte, Man Ray and Picasso. The Surrealists traced their ancestry back through the disturbing works of Goya and Bosch.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN