Surrealism sees the merging of reality and the dreamlike image to create work which could suggest either an extended version of reality, or an extended version of the dream.

Surrealism Quotes

The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.

André Breton


As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.

Comte de Lautréamont


Surrealism, then, neither aims to subvert realism, as does the fantastic, nor does it try to transcend it. It looks for different means by which to explore reality itself.

Michael Richardson


Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.

Salvador Dalí


Perfect nonsense goes on in the world. Sometimes there is no plausibility at all.

Nikolai Gogol


One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.

Salvador Dalí


It is not my intention to make anything comprehensible. I am of the opinion that there are sufficient paintings which one understands after a shorter or longer delay, and that therefore some incomprehensible painting would now be welcome. I am at pains to deliver such, as far as possible.

René Magritte


I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak.

André Breton


The real importance of automatism lay in the fact that it led to a different relation between the artist and the creative act. Where the artist had traditionally been seen as someone who invents a personal world, bringing into being something unique to his own 'genius', the surrealists conceived themselves as explorers and researchers rather than 'artist' in the traditional sense and it was discovery rather than invention that became crucial for them.

Michael Richardson


Compiled by Dean Poulter