“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” — Rene MagritteRené François-Ghislain Magritte was born on this day in Lessines, Belgium, in 1898. Today is the 115th anniversary of his birth.
He was the eldest of three boys born to Leopold and Regine Magritte. He liked drawing from an early age and began to take lessons at 12. At 14 his world was turned upside down when his mother, who…
suffered from depression… fled to go to throw herself over a bridge, into the river Sambre. A few days later, her body is found floating, her face covered by her nightgown; René… was deeply scarred by the image, which was later going to reappear in some of his works (The Heart of the Matter). [famouspainter.com]
In 1914 he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels to learn traditional painting techniques. His “plan was to master these techniques before breaking free of them.” [Ibid] While at the Academy he was influenced by the Futurist, Cubist and Surrealist movements. Because of the later, “Magritte decided to make each of his painting a visual poem.” [Ibid]
He began to work professionally and by 1927 had joined other Surealist artists (like Salvador Dali) . His first one-man show in Brussels was not a critical success in conservative Brussels, and he moved to Paris.
What set him apart from the other surrealists was his technique of juxtaposing ordinary objects in an extraordinary way; while Dali would “melt” a watch, playing with the consistency of an object (amongst other things), Magritte would leave objects intact, but play with their placement in reality, playing with logic. This technique is sometimes called Magic Realism. [famouspainter.com]
His witty and thought-provoking images and his use of simple graphics and everyday objects”… gave “new meanings to familiar things.” [Biography.com]
Magritte died in Brussels on August 15th in 1967 at the age of 69.
- Magritte at the MOMA (bohemist.net)
- On René Magritte’s Use of Photographic Frame by Piotr Pillardy (curatedhams.wordpress.com)
- René Magritte 1898 – 1967 was born on the 21st, of November 1898 (likeandmention.wordpress.com)
- Real Portraits by Rene Magritte (corndena552.wordpress.com)
- Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary (iliannamathioudakis.wordpress.com)