One of the influences on the development of the artistic movement known as surrealism derived from the writings and thought of Sigmund Freud. Freud has a particular influence on Andre Breton, one of the leading theorists of the movement, and Salvador Dali, perhaps its best-known practitioner. Each man acknowledged the contribution of Freud and produced works citing Freud directly.
Surrealism was an artistic movement with a strong political component. It was the most highly organized and tightly controlled artistic movement in this century, and its moral and philosophical leader was Andre Breton, who held the unofficial title of the Pope of Surrealism. Surrealism was also a life-style and a philosophical outlook that informed artistic expression, political action, and social life:
At the heart of Surrealism lay the belief that "objective chance"--by which was meant inexplicable coincidence--is central to reality, which is not an orderly system of events apprehensible by logical thought. Hence, it was believed, knowledge of true reality can be gained only through a-logical insights of the unconscious mind and these insights can only be achieved by certain (a-logical) automatic procedures (Osborne 529).
Surrealism did not involve on specific style but several styles, all based on the same basic tenets. Breton always remained the chief theorist of the movement, writing Surrealist manifestos and various works explaining and promoting Surrealist ideas. He also created what he called poem-objects, which were assemblages of assemblages of surrealistically juxtaposed objects (Osborne 78).
The word "surr?aliste" was borrowed from Apollinaire, who had used the term in 1917. Surrealism itself derived from earlier movements, including the Cubism of Guillaume Apollinaire, and his statements on Cubism have much in them that would become underpinnings for the Surrealist movement. Apollinaire indicated that the modern artist ...