The Greatest Famous Surrealist Artists

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Vote up the best Surrealist artists.

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. Make sure to also check out abnormal stories about Salvador Dali and weird personal quirks of historical artists. 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 seek 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. 

  • 1
    509 VOTES
    Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí (, Catalan: [səlβəˈðo ðəˈli], Spanish: [salβaˈðoɾ ðaˈli]), was a Spanish Surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August, 1931, and is one of the most recognisable Surrealist paintings. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, at times in collaboration with a ...more
    • Artworks: The Persistence of Memory, Galatea of the Spheres, The Burning Giraffe, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Tuna Fishing
    • Birthplace: Figueres, Spain
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Cubism, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Spain
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Photography, Painting, Drawing
    509 votes
  • René Magritte
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    316 VOTES
    René François Ghislain Magritte (French: [ʁəne fʁɑ̃swa ɡilɛ̃ maɡʁit]; 21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian Surrealist artist. He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. His imagery has influenced pop art, minimalist art and conceptual art.
    • Artworks: The Son of Man, The Menaced Assassin, Time Transfixed, The Treachery of Images, The Mysteries of the Horizon
    • Birthplace: Lessines, Belgium
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: Belgium
    • Art Forms: Painting
    316 votes
  • 3
    218 VOTES
    Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German (naturalised American in 1948 and French in 1958) painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism. He had no formal artistic training, but his experimental attitude toward the making of art resulted in his invention of frottage—a technique that uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images— and grattage, an analogous technique in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. He is also noted for his novels consisting of collages.
    • Artworks: The Elephant Celebes, Napoleon in the Wilderness, Aquis Submersus, Pietà or Revolution by Night, Lunar Asparagus
    • Birthplace: Brühl, Germany
    • Associated periods or movements: Dada, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Germany
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
    218 votes
  • Yves Tanguy
    Photo: user uploaded image
    138 VOTES

    Yves Tanguy

    Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy (January 5, 1900 – January 15, 1955), known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.
    • Artworks: Slowly Toward the North, Second Thoughts, Extinction of Useless Lights, Multiplication of the Arcs, Mama
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: France, United States of America
    • Art Forms: Painting
    138 votes
  • Giorgio de Chirico
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Giorgio de Chirico ( KIRR-ik-oh, Italian: [ˈdʒordʒo deˈkiːriko]; 10 July 1888 – 20 November 1978) was an Italian artist and writer born in Greece. In the years before World War I, he founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. His most well-known works often feature Roman arcades, long shadows, mannequins, trains, and illogical perspective. His imagery reflects his affinity for the philosophy of Nietzsche and for the mythology of his birthplace. After 1919, he became a critic of modern art, studied traditional painting techniques, and worked in a neoclassical or neo-Baroque style, while frequently revisiting the metaphysical themes of his ...more
    • 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
    • Birthplace: Volos, Greece
    • Associated periods or movements: Italian modern and contemporary art, Metaphysical art, Surrealism
    • Nationality: Italy
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing
    153 votes
  • Frida Kahlo
    Photo: Guillermo Kahlo / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    219 VOTES
    Frida Kahlo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈfɾiða ˈkalo]; born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón; 6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954) was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.Born to a ...more
    • 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
    • Birthplace: Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico
    • Associated periods or movements: Surrealism
    • Nationality: Mexico
    • Art Forms: Painting
    219 votes