René Magritte

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Rene Magritte.jpg

René Magritte, born in Belgium in November 1898, was one of the leading lights of the Surrealist art movement. He died in August 1967.[1]

This is not a pipe.

The Treachery Of Images (La trahison des images), a series of paintings, (1928–1929) are probably his most famous paintings. The picture at right is more commonly known as 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe' or 'This is not a pipe'. The viewer is encouraged to consider the distinction between reality and the representation of reality.

A common figure appearing in many of his paintings is a faceless, non-descript man in a suit wearing a black bowler hat. Frequently this figure would appear multiple times in the same painting—a metaphor for the normalizing power of modern existence and the doldrums of social constructs such as "the workday."

In Paris, Magritte's system of conceptual painting was formed, it remained almost unchanged until the end of his life. His painting manner, intentionally dry and academic, "polished in the technical sense" (p.18 Magritte. By Marcel Paquet. Taschen. 1992) with precise and clean draughtsmanship demonstrated a paradoxical ability to depict trustworthy an unreal, unthinkable reality. [1]

Magritte was a member of the Communist Party of Belgium[2] and an Agnostic.[3]

Magritte was fond of philosophy and literature. Many of his paintings reflect his impressions of literature works, illusions and philosophical metaphors, e.g. The Giantess (after Baudelair) 1929-30; The Domain of Arnheim (after Edgar Poe) 1938; Hegel’s Holiday. 1958 (homage to Hegel’s dialectics). [2]

See also

External links


  1. Biography