E. L. T. Mesens

E. L. T. Mesens

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E. L. T. Mesens

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ELT Mesens (Edouard Léon Théodore) (27 November 1903 – 1971) was a Belgian artist and writer associated with the Belgian Surrealist movement.


He started his artistic career as a musician influenced by Erik Satie and an author of dadaist poems. He was a publisher of the books Œesophage and Marie, both with his lifetime friend and soulmate René Magritte. His activity as one of the leaders of the surrealist movement in Belgium was eased by the fact that he was an owner of a gallery, where he organised the first surrealist exhibition in Belgium in 1934. As its organiser, he also went to co-organise the London International Surrealist Exhibition which made him settle down in London. There he became the director of the London Gallery (which he ran during the late 30s and after the war with Roland Penrose) and the chief editor of the London Bulletin (1938–1940) - which was one of the most important bulletins among the English-language Surrealist periodicals .

A biography of Mesens by George Melly, Don't Tell Sybil: An Intimate Memoir of E.L.T. Mesens, was published in 1997.


  • Alphabet sourd aveugle - Flamel, Brussels - with preface and a note by Paul Éluard (1933)
  • Troisième Front - London Gallery Editions (1944)
  • Free Unions - Unions Libres - Directed by Simon Watson Taylor (1946)
  • The Cubist Spirit In Its Time - London Gallery Editions - with Robert Melville (1947)
  • Poèmes, 1923-1958 -......
  • ...

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