Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.
Surrealist works feature elements of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequiturs. Many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost. Leader Andre Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.
Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities of World War I and the most important centre of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s on, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy and social theory.
Freud's work, the world of Hieronymus Bosch, Francesco Goya, The tarot, alchemy, witchcraft were among many key inspirations for the surrealists.
Free association, dream analysis and the hidden unconscious was of the utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to liberate imagination.
In 1924 they declared their intents and philosophy with the development of the first Surrealist Manifesto written by the leader of the Surrealists, Andre Breton.