The Greatest Famous Surrealist Artists Artists

The Greatest Famous Surrealist Artists

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List of famous Surrealism artists, with images, bios, and information about their notable works. All the greatest artists associated with the Surrealism movement are included here, along with clickable names for more details on that particular painter or sculptor. These notable Surrealism period artists are organized by popularity, so the best artists are at the top of the list. If you think the best Surrealism artist isn't as high as they should be then be sure to give them an upvote.

Surrealism is a movement of art that seeked to portray the subconscious mind. Surrealists sought to show what people saw in their minds and dreams more than what existed in reality. Paintings, such as Dalí's "The Persistence of Memory," feature familiar objects in unfamiliar and impossible ways. This list of surrealist artists includes Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, and more.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the most famous Surrealism artists?" and "Who are the best Surrealism artists?"

Almost every well-known or influential figure in this movement is listed below. Use this fact-based list to build one just like it, then re-rank it to fit your opinion. 


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    Salvador Dalí
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol, known as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: The Persistence of Memory, Galatea of the Spheres, The Burning Giraffe, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Tuna Fishing, + more
    • Birthplace: Spain, Figueres
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Cubism, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Spain
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Photography, Painting, Drawing
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    René Magritte
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    René François Ghislain Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: The Son of Man, The Menaced Assassin, Time Transfixed, The Treachery of Images, The Mysteries of the Horizon, + more
    • Birthplace: Lessines, Eurasia, Belgium
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: Belgium
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Max Ernst
    Photo: Freebase

    Max Ernst was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: The Elephant Celebes, Napoleon in the Wilderness, Aquis Submersus, Pietà or Revolution by Night, Lunar Asparagus, + more
    • Birthplace: Brühl, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Giorgio de Chirico
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian artist. In the years before World War I, he founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. After 1919, he became interested in traditional painting techniques, and worked in a neoclassical or neo-Baroque style, while frequently ...more

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    • Artworks: Gare Montparnasse (The Melancholy of Departure), The Double Dream of Spring, The Disquieting Muses, The Enigma of the Hour, Metaphysical Interior with Large Factory, + more
    • Birthplace: Southeast Europe, Volos, Greece, Magnesia
    • Associated periods or movements: Italian modern and contemporary art, Metaphysical art, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Italy
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing
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    Francis Bacon
    Photo: Alvaro Tapia

    Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, emotionally charged and raw imagery. His painterly abstracted figures are typically isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon took up painting in his early 20s but worked ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Painting (1946), Figure with Meat, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, Figure in a landscape, Composition (Figure), + more
    • Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
    • Associated periods or movements: Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Frida Kahlo
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits. Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition and by feminists for its uncompromising ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky, Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, Fulang-Chang and I, My Grandparents, + more
    • Birthplace: Mexico City, Coyoacán, Greater Mexico City, Delegaciones del Distrito Federal, Mexico, + more
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: Mexico
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Joan Miró
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Catalan, Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, was established in his native city of Barcelona in 1975, and another, the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, was established in his adoptive city of Palma de ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Still Life with Old Shoe, The Farm, Self-Portrait, Portrait of Vincent Nubiola, The Birth of the World, + more
    • Birthplace: Europe, Catalonia, Province of Barcelona, Southern Europe, Spain, + more
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Spain
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Mural, Ceramic art, Painting
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    Paul Klee
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Paul Klee was a Swiss-German painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Angelus Novus, Revolution des Viadukts, Der Goldfisch, Garten der Leidenschaft (Garden of Passion), Little Castle in the Air, + more
    • Birthplace: Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland
    • Associated periods or movements: German Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter, Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, + more
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting, Drawing
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    Roberto Matta
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren, better known as Roberto Matta, was one of Chile's best-known painters and a seminal figure in 20th century abstract expressionist and surrealist art.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Hermala II, The Vertigo of Eros, Listen to Living, Here, Sir Fire, + more
    • Birthplace: Santiago Metropolitan Region, Santiago Province, Chile, DVD Region 4, Chile, + more
    • Associated periods or movements: Abstract expressionism, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Chile
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Man Ray
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Man Ray was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for ...more

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    • Artworks: Untitled, from the posthumous edition Femmes, Untitled (Self-Portrait), Untitled, from the Film Emak Bakia, + more
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Art Forms: Photography, Collage, Painting
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    André Breton
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism".more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Poem-Object
    • Birthplace: Tinchebray, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: France
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    Yves Tanguy

    Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy, known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Slowly Toward the North, Second Thoughts, Extinction of Useless Lights, Multiplication of the Arcs, Mama, + more
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: France, United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Marcel Duchamp
    Photo: Freebase

    Marcel Duchamp was a French, naturalized American painter, sculptor, chess player, and writer whose work is associated with Dadaism and conceptual art, although careful about his use of the term Dada and direct association with Dada groups. Duchamp is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, La Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase), Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy?, + more
    • Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism, Conceptual art, Section d'Or
    • Nationality: France, United States of America
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Lucian Freud
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

    Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH was a German-born British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. His works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomforting ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Two Japanese Wrestlers by a Sink, Woman with a Daffodil, Girl with a White Dog, Francis Bacon, Sunny MorningEight Legs
    • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art, Realism, Realism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: United Kingdom
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Hans Bellmer
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Hans Bellmer was a German artist, best known for the life-sized pubescent female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s. Historians of art and photography also consider him a Surrealist photographer.more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: The Machine Gun(neress) in a State of Grace, La Poupee, The Doll, The Machine-Gunneress in a State of Grace, Doll
    • Birthplace: Katowice, Poland
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: France, Germany
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Rallé

    Rallé, also known as Master of the Town of Consuls, is an American artist whose work has most recently been shown in the Meisel Gallery and the Bruce R. Lewin Fine Art in New York City. His paintings have accompanied several articles in the magazine Omni, and appeared as covers of several books. Rallé's ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Marc Chagall
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Marc Zakharovich Chagall was a Russian-French artist. Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century". An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including ...more

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    • Artworks: I and the Village, White Crucifixion, The Circus Rider, Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers, La Mariée, + more
    • Birthplace: Vitebsk, Belarus
    • Associated periods or movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: France, United States of America, Russia, Belarus
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Alberto Giacometti
    Photo: Freebase

    Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was born in the canton Graubünden's southerly alpine valley Val Bregaglia, as the eldest of four children to Giovanni Giacometti, a well-known post-Impressionist painter. Coming from an artistic background, he was ...more

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    • Artworks: The Couple, Tall Figure, III, Head of a Man on a Rod, Monumental Head, + more
    • Birthplace: Borgonovo, Switzerland
    • Associated periods or movements: Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: Switzerland
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing
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    Remedios Varo

    Remedios Varo Uranga was a Spanish-Mexican para-surrealist painter and anarchist. She was born María de los Remedios Alicia Rodriga Varo y Uranga in Anglès, a small town in the province of Girona, Spain in 1908. Her birth helped her mother get over the death of another daughter, which is the reason ...more

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    • Artworks: Useless Science or the Alchemist, The Call, Dragonfly Woman, Portrait of Dr. Ignacio Chávez, Nacer de Nuevo, + more
    • Birthplace: Anglès, Girona, Spain
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: Spain
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Jean Arp or Hans Arp was a German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper. When Arp spoke in German he referred to himself as "Hans", and when he spoke in French he referred to himself as "Jean".more

    more ABOUT
    • Artworks: Leaves and Navels, Two Heads, Bell and Navels, Enak's Tears (Terrestrial Forms), Objects Arranged According to the Law of Chance, + more
    • Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: France, Germany
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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