Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 21 - René Magritte

Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte was born on November 21, 1898, near Brussels. Little is known about his early life, but his mother, who was disturbed, killed herself when René was 13. While studying painting in the 1920s he also worked as a draughtsman in a wallpaper factory and designed posters and advertisements. His early works were poorly received, so he moved to Paris and London for brief periods, and his surreal, illusionistic paintings began to distinguish him as a leader of the Surrealistic movement. After World War II he supported himself by painting fake Picassos, Braques and others, and forging banknotes. His astonishing, thought-provoking paintings include” “The False Mirror” (1928), two versions of “The Human Condition” (1933, 1935), “Not to Be Reproduced” (1937), “Time Transfixed” (1938), “Golconde” (1953) and “Son of Man” (1964). Magritte’s deep interest in what he called the “mystery” evoked in representational art, and the elusiveness of “meaning,” is notably reflected in “The Treachery of Images” (1929, pictured), in which he points out that a picture of a pipe is not a pipe.

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