Several artistic movements announce the birth of the surrealist painting. Amongst these, one can note naturalism, symbolism and cubism. Surrealism is nevertheless primarily born from the Dada movement. Dadaism, whose name was created at random, was meant to be a reaction against the First World War and the conventions of the time. Surrealism was born in 1926, in response to the risk of a new war, as part of the Surrealist Manifesto by André Breton.
At that time, the psychoanalytic theories of Freud fascinate people, especially artists. It discusses the subconscious, the unconscious and dream interpretation. These new theories inspire painters who see in these subjects new techniques of pictorial explorations and want to take advantage of this imaginary, dreamlike world. Painters do not want to interpret their dreams. They want to stage them aesthetically on the canvas, to represent them by getting directly into their unconscious. Their frames describe how their imaginations work; they are a description of the mechanics of thought.
There are many surrealist artists, all very creative and innovative. Among them, we can mention Salvador Dali, the most whimsical and eccentric surrealist painter Max Ernst, who populates his paintings with dreamlike characters, René Magritte, master of the Trompe l'oeil which combines wordplay and meaning games, or Marc Chagall and De Chirico. The oneiric atmosphere characterizes all those artists that combine the inner world with messages inviting reflection.
“A free spirit takes liberties even with liberty itself.”
See more quote by Francis Picabia