The Lives of the Surrealists


A biographical survey of the principal Surrealists by one of the last surviving members of the movement, bestselling author and artist Desmond Morris, who knew many of the key participants personally


ISBN: 9780500021361 Category:

Desmond Morris


No other art movement in history has contained two artists as different as Magritte and MirĂ³. This is because Surrealism was not in origin an art movement, but a philosophical strategy. It was a way of life – a rebellion against the establishment that had given the world the hideous slaughter of the First World War. Instead of trying to analyse the work of the Surrealists, bestselling author and Surrealist artist Desmond Morris concentrates on them as people – as remarkable individuals. What were their personalities, their predilections, their character strengths and flaws? Did they enjoy a social life or were they loners? Were they bold eccentrics or timid recluses?

Drawing on the author’s personal knowledge of the Surrealists, this book captures their life histories, idiosyncrasies and often-complex love lives, vividly illustrated with images of the artists and their works. The arts of Surrealism were both spectacular and international, shaped by the darkest, most irrational workings of the unconscious. Shocking, witty and always entertaining, Morris’ tales illuminate the striking variation in approaches to the Surrealist philosophy, both in the artist’s work and in their lives.

Additional information

Weight 784 g
Dimensions 17.2 x 24.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 April 2018
Number of pages 272
Format Hardback
Dimensions 17.2 x 24.8 cm
Weight 784 g