Breton, André

BORN 18 Feb 1896, Tinchebray, Orne - DIED 28 Sep 1966, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière des Batignolles, 8 rue Saint-Just (Division 31)

André Breton was a founder of the Surrealist movement. He was the son of a shopkeeper and grew up in Brittany. He wrote poems from an early age and met Paul Valéry while he was still young. He studied medicine and psychiatry (he would meet Sigmund Freud in Vienna in 1921).

In 1916 he joined the Dadaist group. During the First World War he frequently met Apollinaire and in 1919 he founded the "Review Littérature" together with Aragon and Soupault. In 1921 he married Simone Kahn. In 1924 his "Manifeste du Surréalisme" was published.

In 1928 he published "Nadja", a book about himself and a mad woman named Nadja Delcourt. During the thirties several volumes of poetry followed. He joined the communist party in 1927 and left it in 1935 because of Stalin's terror.

In 1934 he married Jacqueline Lamba and in 1935 they had a daughter, Aube. In 1938 he met Trotsky in Mexico and together they founded the Fédération de l'Art Revolutionnaire Independant. When France was occupied by Germany he fled to the USA with Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. In 1943 he divorced Jacqueline.

In 1946 Breton returned to France where he continued to publish essays and poems. He died in 1966, leaving his third wife Elisa Claro behind. After the French government decided not to buy his personal collections in 2003 his daughter Aube sold them on the market.

Related persons
• has a connection with Éluard, Paul
• was influenced by Freud, Sigmund
• influenced Goll, Ivan
• knew Matta, Roberto
• was opponent of Sartre, Jean-Paul
• cooperated with Soupault, Philippe


The grave of André Breton at the Batignolles cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2001)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
The Times

Bretty, Béatrice

Published: 22 Apr 2007
Last update: 23 Oct 2022