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Why Surrealism?: A study of advertisements inspired by the styles of Salvador Dalí and René Magritte
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Art History.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This research focuses on two advertisements that have been inspired by the imageries familiar in Surrealist art. The focus is on two advertisements: one is an advertisement of the tea label Lipton and the other is the car manufacturer Volkswagen’s. Both advertisements have quoted famous Surrealist artists. Lipton has cited Salvador Dalí and Volkswagen René Magritte.


The goal of this study is to find out why the styles of the Surrealist artists René Magritte and Salvador Dalí have been used as a source of inspiration in advertising and what kind of role does the quoting of Surrealism play in advertising the products in question. The interest is also to see if the companies, Lipton and Volkswagen, have quoted the artists in order to give the products some additional value. The subject of the benefits and disadvantages of quoting these artists and their styles in advertisements will be also discussed in this study.

The advertisements will be interpreted with a semiotic method based to the theories by Roland Barthes.


The study shows that the quotation of Surrealism was used because of its innovativeness and because art is concerned valuable. The citations to the artists were used because Dalí and Magritte are generally known, which helps in making the brands more noticeable. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
Surrealism, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, advertisement, advertising, Roland Barthes, Joan Gibbons, John Berger
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100220OAI: diva2:692064
Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-29 Last updated: 2014-01-30Bibliographically approved

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