Influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud, Surrealist artists sought to tap into the unconscious mind as a way to release the artistic imagination. The Surrealist movement was officially established in 1924, when the first Surrrealist Manifesto was published by French poet and critic André Breton. The movement spread rapidly, influencing the visual arts, literature, theater and film, especially in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Artists associated with Surrealism include painters André Masson, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Remedios Varo, Yves Tanguy, Kay Sage, Roberto Matta and René Magritte, sculptor Alberto Giacometti, photographer Man Ray, filmmaker Luis Buñuel, and poets Louis Aragon and Paul Éluard. Web resource here. See also: automatism, frottage, decalcomania.

Joan Miró. Personages in the Night Guided by the Phosphorescent Tracks of Snails. Watercolor and gouache on paper. 1940. Philadelphia Museum of Art.