The subject matter components of surrealist art are sometimes extremely realistic and on other occasions they depict abstract interpretations of the objects they portray.

One key feature of surrealist art is its thought provoking, ironic, emotional, or dreamlike nature. This is typically achieved by distorting the figures themselves or by associating figures in unnatural arrangements

All media are used for surrealist paintings and the colors are typically realistic.


Salvador Dali
Joan Miro
Max Ernst
Giorgio de Chirico Ernst
Rene Magritte
Yves Tanguy
M. C. Escher
Paul Delvaux


Figurative Surrealism
Abstract Surrealism



The Elephant Celebes by Ernst (1921)

The temptation of St Anthony by Dali (1947)

The Treachery of Images by Magritte (1929)

The village of the sirens by Delvaux (1942)

Still life and street by Escher (1937)

The palace of windows at the rocks by Tanguy (1942)

Note that all images displayed on this page EITHER have been taken from their respective locations on and are considered to be in the public domain since they are photographic reproductions of original works of art that no longer have copyrights OR are 'limited portions' of the copywritten works in order to abide by the fair use doctrine. They are being displayed here for educational purposes only. References: The Illustrated History of Art, Thinkquest Library, Paris WebMuseum and USC School of Art.