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Rene Magritte (1898-1967)

Do you think you may own a painting by Rene Magritte? We authenticate, appraise and research all paintings by this great artist.

The Son of Man 1964

The Son of Man 1964

Rene Magritte was a Surrealist painter, born in Belgium as the son of a tailor. Magritte's mother committed suicide when he was only 14 for unknown reasons. A year later, he met his future wife and model for some of his paintings, Georgette Berger. Magritte went on to receive his first artistic training at the Royal Academy of Arts in Burssels from 1916-1918. Magritte initially worked as a commercial artist and even created designs for wallpaper and posters. His early influences were Fernand Leger and his earliest works were based on Cubism and Futurism.

Untitled 1926

Untitled 1926

The Menaced Assassin 1926

The Menaced Assassin 1926

In 1925, Magritte became affiliated with the Dada movement, which in turn affected his painting. During this time, he became friends with Man Ray and other Dada artists and worked for the Dada magazines "Marie" and "Aesophage." In 1926, Magritte painted his first truly Surrealist painting entitled "The Lost Jockey."

The Lost Jockey 1926

The Lost Jockey 1926

Magritte held his first one-man show in Brussels in 1927, which was not well-received.

Pleasure 1927

Pleasure 1927

After this, Magritte left for Paris where he stayed until 1930, where he began to work more and more with the Surrealists. He became especially close to Paul Eluard and Max Ernst during these early years.

The Lovers 1928

The Lovers 1928

Homesickness

Homesickness

Le Movement Perpetual

Le Movement Perpetual

The Cicerone 1947

The Cicerone 1947

It was while he was in Paris that Magritte formed his trademark style of academically polished paintings with the Surrealist touch. Much in the same way that Dali would paint very clean and realistic portraits and images in some of his paintings, but infused with Surrealistic elements, so would Magritte. These paintings incorporated elements of the unreal, such as a man with a trunk-like nose, or a woman's face with the female anatomy representing her features. This would be the way that Magritte would continue to paint until his death in 1967.

Collective Invention 1934

Collective Invention 1934

The Pleasure Principle, Portrait of Edward James 1937

The Pleasure Principle, Portrait of Edward James 1937

The Rape 1945

The Rape 1945

Also not unlike Dali, Magritte would often incorporate familiar elements within his compositions. Hats, umbrellas and smoking pipes were frequently part of his compositions.

Hagel's Holiday 1958

Hagel's Holiday 1958

The Two Mysteries 1966

The Two Mysteries 1966

Presence of Mind 1960

Presence of Mind 1960

Bright blue skies with puffy white clouds, birds, and statues, such as the Venus de Milo were also recurring themes throughout his oeuvre. Each of these recurring themes can be interpreted differently, and had significant meaning to Margritte. .

L'Avenir des Statues 1932

L'Avenir des Statues 1932

Black Magic 1934

Black Magic 1934

Memory 1948

Memory 1948

The Large Family 1963

The Large Family 1963

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

Even more curious are his "Treason of Pictures" paintings in which he makes the statement "This is not...," which was perhaps Magritte's way of making his viewers look past the painting of the apple or the pipe to see something different.

This is Not a Pipe

This is Not a Pipe

In the 1940's, Magritte made a brief effort to change his style of painting. Following the style of Renoir, Magritte tried his hand at plein-air Impressionistic paintings from 1945-1947.

The Flowers of Evil 1946

The Flowers of Evil 1946

Le Premier Jour 1943

Le Premier Jour 1943

He also had another change in style from 1947-1948 which he called his "Cow Period" which also did not last. This period was a parody of Fauvism and was an attempt on his part to annoy the French art elite. During this period he created strange, crude paintings, with quick brush strokes. Magritte later showed these, creating something of a scandal, and even won a few admirers on the way. He essentially went back to his original Surrealist style.

Le Contenu Pictural 1947

Le Contenu Pictural 1947

La Famine 1948

La Famine 1948

In the 1950's, he was commissioned to create frescos for the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Charleroi, and towards the end of his career began experimenting in sculpture.

The Blank Check 1965

The Blank Check 1965

statue 1967

statue 1967

Today his work is housed in modern museums all over the world, and perhaps in your own home. His paintings were often humorous and thought provoking, and to this day many of his images are still used in popular culture. Still wondering about a Surrealist painting hanging in your home? Contact us...it may be by Rene Margritte.