Surrealism was launched in Paris in 1924 by André Breton with the publication of his Manifesto of Surrealism.
Breton was influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud identified a deep layer of the human mind where memories and our most basic instincts are stored. He called this the unconscious, since most of the time we are not aware of it. The aim of surrealism was to reveal the unconscious and reconcile it with rational life. Surrealism also aimed at social and political revolution and for a time was affiliated to the Communist party.
Surrealism became an international movement (notably in Belgium, Britain and the former Czechoslavakia), widely influencing art, literature and the cinema as well as social attitudes and behaviour.The British Surrealist group formed in 1936 with artist Paul Nash and critic Herbet Read among its founding members. Soon after forming, they organised the First International Surrealist Exhibition in London which attracted huge public attention.