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(1896 - 1987)
Masson was born in Oise, France, but shortly after his birth, his parents moved the family to Brussels. He began to draw at a very early age, and in 1912, his parents sent him to to Paris to study mural painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts. After trying various trades, he met dealer D. H. Kahnweiler in 1922. Kahnweiler gave Masson financial support. Masson joined the surrealist group in 1924, and did drawings, paintings, and sand paintings. He left the movement in 1929. He joined with George Bataille to illustrate his review, Acephale, in 1934. He designed the sets and the costumes for Jean-Louis Barrault’s production of Numance in 1937. That same year, he reconciled with the surrealists and produced a series of "paroxysm paintings." He immigrated to the United States during World War II and published Anatomie de mon univers (1943). In 1945, he returned to France and did stage designs for Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Morts sans sepulture. In 1947, he completed his large painting Niobe, and then settled near Aix-en-Provence to paint haunted landscapes. In 1954, he won the Grand Prix National des Arts, and in 1962, he became a member of the Council for National Museums. His late large paintings, Flayed men and women in armour (1963), and Malevolent wizards threatening the people from the heights (1964) contained the same violence as his earlier works.