RENÉ MAGRITTE

b. 1898, Lessiness, Hainaut

The Belgian painter was born in a small town in the province of Hainaut, on November 21, 1898. He and his family moved to Châtelet, south of Brussels in 1910. Magritte studied at the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels from 1916 to 1918, where he was a fellow student of the painter Viktor Servranckx. Together they wrote the text "L'art pure: defense de l'esthetique" (The pure art: advocating the esthetic), which they did not publish. As of 1922 he found employment as a drawer in a factory that makes wallpapers and also earned a living making advertisements for fashion shops. René Magritte's early paintings are geared at Impressionism and Cubism and later at Futurism. Knowledge of the "Pittura Metafisica" lead to Magritte's own surrealist trials. In 1927, he moved to Paris where his first exhibition took place in the gallery "Le Centaure". He soon came in touch with André Breton, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and others, and played an active role in the circle of Surrealists. Rene Magritte's surrealist style is mysterious and full of magic. A magic that is created by the combination of his realistic depiction of everyday objects and the discrepancy to the known, to the perception of everyday life. Magritte diverged proportions, changed the image's texture. He combined real objects with abstract figurations. Rene Magritte painted his most famous painting "La trahison des images" (Betrayal of the Images) in 1929, which shows a pipe and the words "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" (This is not a pipe) next to it. 
In 1930 he returned to Brussels. His works are shown in numerous exhibitions of surrealist art all over the world. The artist wrote numerous articles and contributes to catalogues, explaining his concept of the possibilities of art. The Museum of Modern Art in New York shows the first large retrospective of his works. René Magritte died in Brussels on August 15, 1967. 

 

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