Surrealism was launched in Paris in 1924 as a ‘shock treatment’ for the art world. ‘Surrealism means ‘beyond the real’ and it was at first a movement created by poets and writers who wanted to break away from traditional art forms.

Surrealists were interested in memory, chance and coincidence and loved anything magical, unusual, surprising or bizarre.

Man Ray, born 1890, was an American photographer who became part of the Surrealist movement in Paris. He invented the photographic technique called Rayographs. ‘Glass Tears’ is one of his most famous photographs.

Joan Miro (born 1893) was one of the few Surrealists who tended to work in the abstract. Here we see one of his more ‘traditional’ paintings, ‘Woman doing her Hair before a Mirror’.

Probably one of the most famous Surrealist painters is Salvador Dali. He was highly imaginative but his eccentric manner and actions sometimes attracted more attention than his art, much to the irritation of his admirers. Shown here is his painting, ‘The Face of War’.