Surrealism is a movement in art and literature flourishing in the 1920s and 1930s. The movement was characterized by an insatiable fascination with the irrational, absurd, illogical, baseless and downright bizarre, incongruous, and inappropriate. Unsurprisingly, it was closely related to Dada, its principal source, and several artists featured successively in both movements.
Both Surrealism and Dada were conceived as a revolutionary mode of thought, an impulse, a reaction and action - a way of life rather than a set of stylistic attitudes and established principles. Both were strongly anti-rationalist, and much concerned with creating effects that were disturbing, distressing, bewildering, unsettling and utterly shocking. But whereas Dada was essentially nihilist or believed that all values were baseless and that nothing of worth can be known, taught, imparted or could endure, Surrealism, was positive, cheerful and buoyant in spirit, style and character.