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Surrealists and their circle


24 People in artist grouping:

Launched by the French poet André Breton in Paris in 1924, the surrealist movement was intended to be an artistic and literary revolution that would occupy an international stage. Artists across the channel in Britain, mainly working in London and Birmingham, would interpret the driving forces of the movement. Heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories, they attempted to reconcile the unconscious with rational life in their work. They explored the power of dreams, embracing automatism, freeing them from the constraints of conscious thought. In 1936, David Emery Gascoyne, Roland Penrose, Paul Nash and Sir Herbert Read established the British Surrealist group and organized the International Surrealist Exhibition. Held in the New Burlington Gardens, it featured 400 works by artists from 13 different countries and attracted around 1000 visitors per day. The outbreak of WWII forced many artists to move abroad but the influence of the Surrealists and their circle on 20th century and contemporary art is undeniable.

Jean Arp

Jean Arp

1886-1966
Sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker and poet
Sitter in 7 portraits
Edward John Burra

Edward John Burra

1905-1976
Painter
Sitter in 3 portraits | Artist of 3 portraits
Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí

Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí

1904-1989
Surrealist artist
Sitter in 2 portraits
Henry Moore

Henry Moore

1898-1986
Sculptor
Sitter in 98 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait
Paul Nash

Paul Nash

1889-1946
Artist
Sitter in 32 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait
Sir Roland Algernon Penrose

Sir Roland Algernon Penrose

1900-1984
Painter, art collector; WW2 camoufleur and writer on art
Sitter in 15 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait
Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

1881-1973
Artist
Sitter in 9 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait
Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky)

Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky)

1890-1976
Photographer and artist
Sitter in 16 portraits | Artist associated with 23 portraits
Sir Herbert Read

Sir Herbert Read

1893-1968
Critic, poet and writer on art
Sitter in 18 portraits
Eileen Agar

Eileen Agar

1899-1991
Painter
Sitter in 4 portraits | Artist of 2 portraits
John Banting

John Banting

1902-1972
Painter
Sitter in 3 portraits | Artist associated with 7 portraits
Cecil James Henry Collins

Cecil James Henry Collins

1908-1989
Artist
Sitter in 4 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait
(Margaret) Ithell Colquhoun

(Margaret) Ithell Colquhoun

1906-1988
Painter and writer
Sitter in 5 portraits | Artist of 4 portraits
Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

1887-1968
Artist
Sitter in 1 portrait
Paul Eluard

Paul Eluard

1895-1952
Poet, co-founder of the Surrealist movement
Sitter in 1 portrait
David Emery Gascoyne

David Emery Gascoyne

1916-2001
Poet
Sitter in 7 portraits
Stanley William Hayter

Stanley William Hayter

1901-1988
Printmaker
Sitter in 3 portraits
Humphrey Jennings

Humphrey Jennings

1907-1950
Documentary filmmaker
Sitter in 1 portrait
Conroy Maddox

Conroy Maddox

1912-2005
Surrealist artist, teacher and writer
Sitter in 3 portraits
(Alan) George Heywood Melly

(Alan) George Heywood Melly

1926-2007
Jazz singer, critic, writer and lecturer
Sitter in 8 portraits