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When the Surrealist movement was launched in Paris in 1924, Masson was one of the original painters in the group. His subject is the mountain outside Aix-en-Provence, which Cézanne had painted many times some fifty years earlier. But rather than a literal depiction, it serves here as the impetus for a sense of bursting energy. Masson was a leading practitioner of the Surrealist technique of ‘automatic’ painting, in which conscious control over the movement of the hand is suppressed so that the subconscious mind may take over.

August 2011