Surrealism– Definition | Characteristic | Best artworks |


Surrealism- Definition

Surrealism is an artistic and literary movement that originated in the early 20th century. It is characterized by the unconventional juxtaposition of unrelated elements to create dreamlike and fantastical imagery. Surrealist works delve into the depths of the subconscious, challenging rationality and embracing the liberation of thought. This movement aims to defy traditional notions of reality and perception, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

Surrealism- Overview

Actually, this article describes everything about Surrealism. But still, if you want to know more things about Surrealism, then you should read our two categories– “Writers and Theorists” and “Cinema and theatre.”

You would know these things in this article:- Surrealist Manifestos, Founding of the movement, Golden age- World War II and the Post War period & Impact of Surrealism.

And if you want to know more things (About Surrealism movement). Then check our- People also search (Surrealism) for section.

A category such as “Writers and Theorists,” describes the various aspects, and Category “Cinema and theatre” gives information about other things.


Surrealism- 4 Frequently asked questions

Can you explain the history of Surrealism?

Date of the emergence of this art movement is- 1920. “The Persistence of Memory,” “Guernica” (So-called artworks) define the history of this art style, these are Surrealism artworks.

There are some artists such as Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso who contributed to the renaissance of Surrealism movement.

Paintings/artworks that are part of SURREALISM history.

Top 3 Artworks:-

  • The Persistence of Memory
  • Guernica
  • Philosopher’s lamp

Top 5 Artists

1st Salvador Dali:-

Notable works:- The Persistence of Memory (1931) & Galatea of the Spheres (1952).

Qualification:- San Fernando School of Fine Arts, Madrid, Spain (Skilled draftsman).

2nd Pablo Picasso:-

Notable works:- Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1910) & The Weeping Woman (1937).

Qualification:- Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker).

3rd René Magritte:-

Notable works:- The Treachery of Images & The Menaced Assassin.

Qualification:- Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Belgian Surrealist artist).

4th Frida Kahlo:-

Notable works:- Henry Ford Hospital (1932) & The Broken Column (1944).

Qualification:- Self-taught Mexican painter.

5th André Breton:-

Notable works:- Mount of Piety, 1919 & Please  1920.

Qualification:- Joined the French Communist Party (French writer, poet and anti-fascist).

What were some of the characteristics of the Surrealism period?

The Surrealism period was defined by the exploration of the subconscious mind, the utilization of dreamlike imagery, and the embrace of irrationality. Artists aimed to challenge established concepts of reality and perception by juxtaposing unrelated elements. Surrealist works often featured unexpected and bizarre combinations, evoking a sense of mystery and surprise.

Who would be considered the ‘Father’ of Surrealism?

If you analyze the biography of Surrealism artists and Surrealism artworks, then you would get that there is no fixed answer to this question.

If you are the Surrealism student, then you must have seen differences in paintings such as “Voluptas Mors,” “The Persistence of Memory,” “Philosopher’s lamp,” “The Treachery of Images,” and “Guernica.”

Along with it, if you analyze the biography of Surrealism artists such as André Breton, Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Frida Kahlo, and Pablo Picasso.

Then it would be very difficult to say.

Because, altogether, their contribution to the renaissance of Surrealism movement is huge and these are counted among the elite class in Surrealism history.

That’s why there is no fixed answer.

What are some of the most expensive pieces of Surrealism ever created?

SALVADOR DALI is obviously number 1 Surrealism artist. And the artworks of this artist (“The Treachery of Images,” and “Guernica” including others) remain in high demand. And these artworks are counted in most expensive pieces of Sur-realism created.

Along with it, you may select our- Salvador Dali art-Top 25 designs, paintings, photos, prints, and sculptures.

Although, Frida Kahlo, René Magritte, and Pablo Picasso are also a very renowned name in this category. Their artworks are also very expensive.

Surrealism’s Top 4 Famous Paintings

1. The Persistence of Memory

Artist: Salvador Dalí

Location: The Museum of Modern Art (since 1934)

Created: 1931

Period: Surrealism

Media: Oil Paint, Bronze

Genre: Allegory

Dimensions: 24 cm x 33 cm

Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory” surreal landscape, melting clocks—a timeless icon of art.

The Persistence of Memory
The Persistence of Memory

2. Guernica

Artist: Pablo Picasso

Locations: Paris (1937–1937), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Periods: Cubism, Surrealism

Created: 26 April 1937–June 1937

Genre: History painting

Medium: Oil Paint

“Guernica” is Pablo Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting depicting the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.

3. The Treachery of Images

Artist: René Magritte

Locations: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Private collection

Created: 1928–1929

Period: Surrealism

Medium: Oil Paint

Dimensions: 60.33 cm × 81.12 cm (23.75 in × 31.94 in)

“The Treachery of Images” is a famous painting by René Magritte that challenges the relationship between words and images.

The Treachery of Images

4. Voluptas Mors

Artist: Philippe Halsman

Created: 1951

Period: Surrealism

“Voluptas Mors” is a Latin phrase meaning “the pleasure of death,” often depicted in artistic representations.

Voluptas Mors

Surrealism’s Characteristics

If you want to know the characteristics of Surrealism along with Mannerism, Romanticism, and Impressionism.

So here are two categories 1. (Writers and Theorists) and 2. (Cinema and theatre) that explain the various aspects of this art movement.

First category “Writers and Theorists” explains the deepness of this art movement and,

Second category “Cinema and theatre” describes the artistic aspect of this art movement.

There are very famous artworks such as – “The Persistence of Memory,” “Guernica,” “Philosopher’s lamp.” If you observe the artworks of Sur-realism, then you can easily guess the characteristics of it.

And also other paintings such as “The Treachery of Images” and “Voluptas Mors” describe the characteristic of it.

Surrealism’s People also search for

Top artists (5)Top artists (5)

Surrealism’s Other art movements

Relation with other art movements

Surrealism has been the part of art history, which artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and René Magritte have contributed to a great extent to make it art movement.

Movement has given many other renowned artists such as Frida Kahlo, André Breton, etc. Sur-realism is an art movement of art lovers because Sur-realism is a pastiche of many different art styles such as Impressionism, Romanticism, Mannerism, etc.

In this article, you would get information about other art movements also such as;




If you (As a/an Sur-realism student) see the artworks of these art movements, specifically Impressionism and Romanticism, then definitely you would get small similarity.

Indeed, Sur-realism is a pastiche of many art movements due to its artists.

Surrealism has a complicated history, and its specific and precise definition has been the subject of debate.

That’s why, in the realm of art, craft, and aesthetics, the definition of Surrealism is different. But don’t worry; this website (– Salvador Dali + Surrealism) has covered all aspects.

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