RenÃÂ© FranÃÂ§ois-Ghislain Magritte
On November 21, 1898 RenÃÂ© FranÃÂ§ois-Ghislain Magritte was born in Lessines, Hainaut (Belgium) to Adeline Magritte. On March 12, 1912, a mere fourteen years later, Adeline's body was fished out of the Sambre River where she
committed suicide. Little did she know that her son would
become one of the most celebrated surrealists of his time.
This unexpected tragedy set the stage for the Magritte
family's move to Charleroi. At age 16, RenÃÂ© enrolled at the
Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. At that time Magritte had
already begun to paint in the style, closely related to
surrealism, that was predominant throughout his extensive
career. Noted as a meticulous, skillful technician, he created works that contain an extraordinary juxtaposition of ordinary objects or an unusual context that gives new meaning to familiar things. This juxtaposition is frequently called "magic realism", of which Magritte was the prime advocate.
In addition to fantastic elements, he displayed a trenchant wit, creating surrealist versions of famous paintings, such as Madame RÃÂ©camier de David in 1949. In this piece, an elaborate coffin is substituted for the reclining woman in the famous portrait by Jacques Louis David. Magritte's work was world reknowned. In 1936, he came to New York City where his work was first exhibited in the United States. Magritte's paintings were all of such marvelous stature that my research has not named just one to be his magnum opus. Unfortunately, in 1965 his health began to decline and from there on he stayed in Italy where he and his wife had resided for many years. Sadly, on August 15, 1967 RenÃÂ© Magritte took his last breaths and passed away.
I chose RenÃÂ© Magritte because his paintings on the following pages captivate me. The visual appeal is not the
only thing that draws me to them, but also the creativity that encompasses each and every painting. Many questions arose in my mind while researching his style, and to me, in the end if all of the answers are not found that makes it all the more interesting because it leaves you with something to ponder and draw your own conclusions about.
Nicola Randone. Grandi Artisti. 23 Oct. 2001
The Magritte Site. 23 Oct. 2001
Paintings by RenÃÂ© Magritte. 23 Oct. 2001