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The artists were influenced by psychological research of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, who sought to explain the workings of the mind through analysis of the symbols of dreams. Instead of using psychoanalysis to cure themselves of any disturbances, the surrealists saw the unconscious as a wellspring of untapped creative ideas. “A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not opened” is a famous quote from Freud. The surrealists were less interested in interpretation of their dream symbols than they were in the expressive capacity of such states.

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