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French writer André Breton was the first to define the bases of the Surrealist movement in his work the "Surrealism Manifesto" in 1924. The movement, which owed its name to the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, extended to all forms of art. Strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis, Surrealism tried to translate thought by freeing it of the constraints of reason, morality, and aesthetics. The unconscious and dreams are omnipresent in it.

Successors of the Dadaists, the Surrealists used new and usual creative methods, and were inspired by artists and movements having already explored the world of dreams and fantastic before them: Jérôme Bosch, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the English Pre-Raphaelites, etc. Other groups and artistic concepts such as Automatistes (Paul-Émile Borduas), Action Painting (Jackson Pollock) and the Abstract Automatism of Joan Miró and Yves Tanguy originated from Surrealism.

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