Veristic Surrealism – Dali, Magritte and Max Ernst

Rene Magritte -The Man in the Bowler HatThe other approach to Surrealism was taken by the Veristic surrealists. Veristic Surrealists allowed the images of the subconscious to be undisturbed so that meaning could be understood through analysis. They linked images between the abstract spiritual realities and the real forms of the world. For them, their paintings were a metaphor to inner reality. Veristic surrealists hoped to follow images of the subconscious until consciousness could understand the meaning. The expression of the subconscious is the image and the consciousness had to decode the image and translate it into the language of its own. Thus paintings of the Veristic Surrealists portrayed people and objects which looked close to reality, although were represented in quite strange ways. Veristic Surrealism could be best defined as “representational” Surrealism.

The most representative painters of Veristic Surrealism were Salvador Dali; Rene Magritte and Max Ernst. The Belgian Rene Magritte had a good ability to paint ordinary objects in unusual contexts giving new meanings to familiar things. Max Ernst started as a Dadaist but turned to Surrealism when the Dada movement ended. With his paintings he tried to provoke the viewer to awaken moral.

Freud’s work with dream analysis became of utmost importance to the surrealists to develop methods to liberate imagination. Surrealist works of art were revolutionary and often not understood. Salvador Dali, the best representative of Surrealism, once said, ‘There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.’

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