Interesting Facts About Rene Magritte

Interesting Facts About Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte, who was he?

Rene Magritte was a surrealist artist from Belgium who became famous for his clever and thought-provoking works.

His work is notable for challenging onlookers' preconceptions of reality by showing everyday objects in strange settings. Pop art, minimalist art, and conceptual art have all been impacted by his artwork.


Rene Magritte produced how many paintings?

372 works of art

What is the art style of Rene Magritte?

  • Surrealism
  • Modern
  • Dada

Facts about Rene Magritte

He was Leopold and Regina Magritte's eldest son.

René Magritte was the eldest of three sons of Leopold Magritte and his wife Regina, and was born on November 21, 1898, in Lessines, Hainaut, Belgium. His father, Leopold, worked as a tailor and textile merchant, while his mother, Regina, worked as a milliner before marrying.

The family led a relatively comfortable life. Rene's brother Raymond went on to become a successful businessman and purchased Rene's works when he was struggling as an artist. Paul, the youngest sibling, explored musical and poetic interests. Paul maintained a tight relationship with Rene, and the two even embarked on joint enterprises.


His early art was influenced by his mother's suicide.

René François Ghislain Magritte, the eldest of three sons in a manufacturing family, was born in Lessines, Belgium, near the end of 1898. When his mother, who had long struggled with mental illness, committed suicide by drowning herself in a nearby river, his rather uneventful early childhood took a sad turn.

According to legend, Magritte was present when she was retrieved from the sea at the age of 14, and her dress floated up to conceal her face. This profound symbolism would appear again and again in the artist's work in the years to come.


The style of his early works was impressionistic and cubist.

The style of Magritte's early works, which date from around 1915, was Impressionistic. From 1916 to 1918, he attended the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.

Here, Magritte was exposed to new aesthetic movements like cubism and futurism, which would have an impact on his work in the years to come. To support himself, Magritte worked as a designer for a wallpaper business and created posters for ads. In 1926, he acquired a contract with Galerie 'Le Centaure' in Brussels, allowing him to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time painter.


He was well-versed in the art of forgery.

Magritte moved to Brussels in 1916 to study at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts for two years, where he was exposed to seminal cubism and futurism works.

His artistic career did not begin right once; instead, he worked for a wallpaper firm and produced advertising posters, both of which were aesthetic and commercial activities that no doubt affected his subsequent work.

In a scandalous undercurrent, Magritte is said to have forged masterpieces by Picasso, Titian, Ernst, and Chirico, as well as replicating his own works, in what some critics call a "subversive approach against his official output.

His copycat inclinations, on the other hand, were to the artist's favor in the long term; rumor has it that during World War II, when Germany occupied Belgium from 1940 to 1944, he fabricated banknotes as a method of survival in the face of poverty.


He developed a number of recognized motifs to which he returned again.

Magritte's first oil painting, Le domaine d'Arnheim (The Domain of Arnheim), was completed in 1938 and depicts one of his most enduring pictorial motifs, the magisterial eagle-shaped mountain. Magritte was so taken by the subject that he returned to it nine times between 1938 and 1962.

La magie noire — black magic — is another of Magritte's most recognizable motifs, featuring a metamorphosing nude person in front of an exquisite environment.

Magritte originally investigated the subject of La magie noire in 1934, a few months after participating in an exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels called Le nu dans l'art vivant, and he went on to paint various versions on the theme.

A la rencontre du plaisir (Towards Pleasure), painted in 1962, combines several of Magritte's most iconic motifs into a single image: the lone man in the bowler hat, the moon, the simultaneous evocation of night and day, a curtain that gives the impression that the scene is both interior and exterior, and what Magritte called "the eternal struggle between the gaze and objects."


His first official exhibition was a flop, according to critics.

Magritte, along with other painters Paul Nougé, Camille Goemans, and Louis Scutenaire, was swiftly absorbed into Belgium's developing surrealism movement, having tapped into his intrinsic affinity with familiar items – bowler hats, pipes, and the like – through his oneiric imagery. Despite this, critics panned his first formal exhibition, which was held in Brussels in 1927.

This negative feedback proved to be Magritte's undoing; frustrated, he moved to Paris, where he met André Breton, the originator of Surrealism, and met colleagues in literature and music, as well as collaborating in the formulation of the Surrealism in Full Sunlight manifesto. It took a few years and a relocation return to Belgium for him to achieve financial success, but by the early 1930s, Magritte's work was gaining traction.


He once used a friend to keep his wife distracted while he was having an affair.

From the age of 15, when they first met, until their deaths, Magritte's great love, Georgette Berger, played an important role in his life. They married in 1922, but Magritte was just as devious in his love life as he was in his painting, so when he began an affair with Sheila Legg, a young artist, he arranged for a friend, Paul Colinet, to divert his wife.

This 'distraction' inevitably led to an affair, with Georgette even asking for separation at one point. Even Nevertheless, Georgette and Magritte remained together for the rest of their lives once they had reconciled.


He took great pleasure in keeping his critics guessing.

Magritte may have found his specialty in surrealism, but that didn't stop him from dabbling in other genres. He spent some time playing with impressionism, ostensibly to perplex his critics as much as anything else.

His experimentation with a style he termed Vache, or Cow — an extreme fauve-inspired phase that used harsh colors and simple lines – was the most intriguing of all. The works were intentionally misdated in order to separate them from Magritte's overall oeuvre, and he later referred to them as being created "during his doomed phase."

Self-portraits were his most well-known works.

Magritte's 1964 painting The Son of Man, which features a bowler-hatted subject's face shrouded by a hovering green apple and is ostensibly his most famous piece, was really created as a self-portrait. "Magritte once quipped, "At least it hides the face half." "So you have the apparent face, the apple, concealing the person's obvious but hidden face." It's something that happens on a regular basis. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see since everything we see hides something else.

There is a fascination with what is hidden and what the visible does not reveal. This fascination might manifest as a strong emotion, a type of tension, one might say, between the visible that is concealed and the visible that is present." Throughout his career, Magritte's work was marked by a confrontation between the visible and what it conceals.


Magritte valued wordplay as much as he valued visuals.

Take, for example, La Trahison des Images (The Treachery of Images), the now-iconic picture of a pipe after which the new show at the Centre Pompidou is named. "Ceci n'est pas une pipe," or "this is not a pipe," reads the painting's text, a seemingly paradoxical assertion countered by the artist's beautifully pragmatic explanation: it is not a pipe, but rather an image of one.

"To be a surrealist means excluding all remembrance of what you have seen from your mind, and always on the lookout for what has never been," he once observed, expressing a really new style of thinking.


His art has grown far too well-known to be stolen.

What is the most significant benefit of gaining big public success? Magritte's works have grown so recognizable in the period after his death in 1967 that they can't even be stolen, as a group of thieves discovered in 2009.

They were unable to sell his ÂŁ3.6 million work, Olympia, on the black market after liberating it, with possible buyers arguing it was too recognizable to acquire. Three years later, the painting was dutifully returned to the Magritte Museum in perfect condition.


He was an enthusiastic amateur filmmaker and photographer.

Magritte spent much of his free time, in addition to his professional interests, experimenting with photography, and while his images were never viewed with the same veneration as his paintings, they did play a role in inspiring his later works.

His enthusiasm in filmmaking, on the other hand, was perhaps most entertaining; he frequently featured in-home movies, acting out situations with a hurriedly formed cast of actors.


Magritte's Renoir phase began after World War I.

The German occupation of Belgium began in May 1940, when the Second World War broke out. Magritte chose to remain in Brussels, causing a rift between himself and André Breton.

Magritte moved away from surrealism and adopted a more colorful and impressionistic manner as a result of the loneliness and abandonment he felt while living in German-occupied Belgium. Art historians do not consider his works from this period, known as the "Renoir Period," to be very successful. After the war, Magritte's works lost their impressionistic overtones and reverted to his preferred surrealism form.


His influence can still be seen in the art world today.

Magritte's impact on the art world lives on primarily in his fascination with endowing objects with new meanings by removing them from their ordinary contexts.

Though his repeated experiments with bowler hats, pipes, apples, and the like have developed into something of a signature homage to the artist, his repeated experiments with bowler hats, pipes, apples, and the like have developed into something of a signature homage to the artist.

Magritte's impact on the art world lives on primarily in Pop, minimalism, conceptual art, and a slew of other genres owe a due to the artist for this signature, which he would undoubtedly appreciate.


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