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René Magritte

"My painting evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question « What does that mean ? »."


Notes of biography

René Magritte was born in 1898 in Lessines (Hainaut, Belgium). After traditional studies, he followed classes to the Brussels Academy of Art (1916-1918). He got married with a friend of childwood in 1922 and worked as a draughtsman in a wallpaper factory and devoted his leisure activities to the painting. René Magritte left this first work to create posters, advertising drawings or, at the end of the 20s, images for catalogs of commercial sale. A this time, his art is all together a little of cubism, futurism and abstraction.
Magritte discovered de Chirico’s work in 1923 with his "metaphysical Inside" which had a big influence on Magritte’s work until 1926. In 1924, he met writers Camille Goemans and Marcel Lecomte; with them, Paul Nougé and E.L.T. Mesens, Magritte participated to activities of the Belgian surrealist group, and contributed to several often short-lived reviews. Supported by the Gallery the Centaur (Brussels), Magritte dedicated himself to the painting from 1926. He participated, with his group, to the "Society of Mystery".
René Magritte settled down near Paris (Perreux / Marne) in 1927, for three years. He joined the French surrealist group and worked with Jean Arp, Joan Miro, Paul Eluard, etc.; he took part to "The surrealist Revolution" (1929). The same year Magritte and his wife spent holidays with Salvador Dali in his house in Cadaquès. In 1930, Magritte came back to Brussels and joined the local surrealist group. His gallery (The Centaur) having gone bankrupt, his friend Mesens bought all his paintings.
In 1932, Magritte adhered to the Belgian communist party. Magritte painted, drew, travelled, contributed to the review "Minotaure". Surrealists understood coverage n°10 of the review as a premonitory vision of the war and all it included. The activity of Magritte was intense. In 1940, he spent some months in France (Carcassonne). In 1943 was published Paul Nougé’s monograph of Magritte. Four years later it was Louis Scutenaire one’s.
In 1946, Magritte published pamphlets (L’Imbécile, L’Emmerdeur, L’Enculeur). From 1952 till 1956, the artist edited the review "La Carte d'après nature". He produced in 1956, numerous short films and contributed in 1961, to the review "Rhétorique" with André Bosmans. This same year, during an exhibition in London, André Breton wrote his first text about him.
Year 1927, Magritte organized his first personal exhibition in Brussels. He would participate to all the events of the various surrealists groups where he was active (at the end of the 20s, the 30s and 40). Then, from the immediate post-war years his works were shown in famous exhibitions and retrospectives all over the world. The artist also created several decorations and monumental works (The ignorant Fairy, The mysterious Barricades, etc.). In the middle of the 20s, René Magritte discovered "his way", his own language tinged sometimes with black humor, an accurate painting of a reality which moves inexorably towards the absurd or the strange, a painting which carries away the one who looks in questions as well as in a certain perplexity. Magritte had his own particular place in the surrealist painting.
He died on August 15th, 1967 in Schaerbeek ( Brussels).

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Magritte », Bernard Noël, Ed. Flammarion, Paris, 1977
  • « René Magritte », A. M. Hammacher, Ed. Ars Mundi, 1988
  • « René Magritte », Jacques Meuris, Ed. Taschen, Cologne, 1990
  • « René Magritte », cat. d'expo., Musée Cantini, Marseille, 1992
  • « René Magritte », Alden Todd, Coll. Carrés d’Art, Ed. De la Martinière, 2000
  • « Magritte », Michel Butor et autres, Ed. Galerie du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2003
  • « René Magritte, l’empire des images », Pierre Sterckx, Ed. Assouline, 2003
  • « Magritte et la photographie », Patrick Roegiers, Ed. Ludion, 2005
  • « Magritte », Michel Draguet, folio biographies, Ed. Gallimard, 2014
  • « Magritte : La trahison des images », collectif, Ed. Centre Pompidou, 2016
To read from the artist :
  • « Ecrits complets », Ed. Flammarion, Paris, 1979
  • « Les mots et les images : choix d’écrits », Coll. Espace Nord, Ed. Labor, 2000
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Art movements

+ SURREALISM / 1924-1969 / Marcel Duchamp, Dora Maar, Kurt Schwitters, Taro Okamoto, Antonio Berni, etc.
All art movements

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Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

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