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Happy Birthday, Rene Magritte!

November 21, 2008

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” — Rene Magritte

Regular readers know that Sarah and James are fans of surrealist art. They connect with the bizarre, dreamlike imagery. Of course, on the outer edge of normal … what would you expect?

Rene Magritte was a Belgian surrealist painter. He began to formally study art when he was about 12. When he was about 14, his mother committed suicide by drowning; Rene was there when they retrieved her body from the water.

As an adult, he worked as an assistant wallpaper designer and a poster and advertisement designer before he finally landed a contract which enabled him to paint full-time.

After his first art exhibition, a one-man show in Brussels that was badly received, he left for Paris in 1927. He lived in France for four years, where he participated in the activities of the Surrealists. He became close friends with Max Ernst, Dali, André Breton and Paul Eluard.

The False Mirror, 1928

Attempting the Impossible, 1928

The Human Condition, 1933

“This is how we see the world, we see it outside ourselves, and at the same time we only have a representation of it in ourselves. In the same way, we sometimes situate in the past that which is happening in the present. Time and space thus lose the vulgar meaning that only daily experience takes into account.”– from La Ligne de Vie II, February 1940

Black Magic, 1933-1934

The Red Model, 1934

Collective Invention, 1934

The Human Condition, 1935

Not to Be Reproduced, 1937

Time Transfixed, 1938

Gonconda, 1953

The Castle in the Pyrenees, 1959

The Large Family, 1963

The Son of Man, 1964

Magritte considered this a self portrait.

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