rene magritte


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about Magritte's art life and treachery of images


RENE MAGRITTE & treachery of imagesCeren Burak DA 040100531

Rene Magritte was born in Lessines, in the province of Hainaut, a French-speaking region of Belgium, on 21 Nov. 1898.

He formed the nucleus of Belgian Surrealist movement with E.L.T. Mesens and Paul Nouge

Self Portraits from his Mature Period whose style is Surrealism, 1952

from Early Purism Period, 1923

Magritte loved classical music

The Flood, 1928

The Rights of the Human, 1947


We used to lift up the iron gates and go down into the underground vaults. Regaining the light again I found, in the middle of some broken stone columns and heaped-up leaves, a painter who had come from the capital, and who seemed to me to be performing magic.

suicide of his mother

The Lovers, 1928

Heart of the Matter, 1928

Magritte had to earn a living out of his painting. Thats why Magritte did lots of advertisement posters to make money.

Style: ART DECO, Adv. for Norine

use of dislocation like the removal of an object from its belonged place or context and its introduction into an unknown environment

Clear Ideas, 1958

Happy Hand, 1953

Black Magic, 1934

Anatomical Transpositions

The Rape, 1935

Philosophy in the Boudoir, 1947

he paints his wife as a model for the nude portraits

Attempting the Impossible, 1928

his early period, 1919-1925 the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels Victor Servranckx whose ideas were influential for Magritte the reproductions of a Futurist painting with poet Pierre Bourgeois

Umberto Boccioni, a Futurist artist

an impressionist effect before Purism

The Portrait of Pierre Bourgeois, 1920

vivid color contrasts, a figurative Cubism and nude models

The Woman, in early years

The Bathers, 1921

mostly influenced by Metzinger and Leger in this early Cubist&Purist Period

Three Women of Leger, 1921 Country Village of Metzinger, 1916

Servranckx & Purisma return to clear, ordered forms turn to classical values of objectivity and harmony, combined with a 20th century belief in collectivism and anonymity - LEsprit Nouveau (organ of Purism) - lobject type: standardized, massproduced object which we use every day, ideal of Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusiers Floating PipeOn the final page of his book Towards an Architecture, published in Paris in 1923, a cardinal document of Purism

Elevated objects that we see in Magrittes mature paintings were encountered in Legers Purist paintings, as well.

Familiar Objects of Magritte, 1928

presenting the man as standardized and anonymous-looking

The Threatened Assassin, 1927

baluster figure in his paintingsThe Art of the Conversation 1951

Nocturne, 1925

Cicero 1947

can be an effect from Leger

The Baluster of Leger, 1925

or Uccellos The Profanation of the Host narrative painting

Surrealist Period (1926 1930)While Purist movement is rationalist and antiindividualist, on the contrary Surrealism is romantic with a taste for eccentric and one-off.

De Chirico

The Song of Love, De Chirico

plaster hand

Difficult Crossing, 1926

Dawn of Cayanne, 1926

the antique marble head, in Memory, 1948

ball, in Secret Life, 1928

balusters of Magritte vs. manikins of De Chirico

Surrealist painting: Secret Player

Listening Room, 1952

Two Mysteries, 1966

The Treachery of Images, 1926 & 1948

formalism- we restate the formalism described in interpretation [1],- A carefully drawn pipe and underneath it (handwritten in a steady, painstaking, artificial script, a script from the convent, like that found heading the notebooks of schoolboys, or on a blackboard after an object lesson), this note: This is not a pipe - (for the other version) The same pipe, same statement, same handwriting. But instead of being.Two Pipes, Michel Foucault

there are no symbols in the paintingsThe simplicity of the paintings, no troubles to see and recognize the objects in them, but there are ambiguities in understanding the meaning of the paintings. Which image represented as a pipe is not a pipe? Interpretation [I] tries to understand the painting clearer with substituting the objects into some narratives. It tries to find the origin of the sentence written down this is not a pipe.


Nothing is easier to recognize than a pipe, drawn thus; nothing is easier to say than the name of the pipe.

The Unraveled Calligram, Michel Foucault

Foucault mentions it as an old custom not without a basis, because the entire function of so scholarly, so academic a drawing is to elicit recognition, to allow the object it represents to appear without hesitation.

Calligram never speaks and represents at the same moment


this is not a pipe is a calligram. Different from an ordinary calligram, word this combines two phases of the calligram. So, they point to each other by using word this.

This (this ensemble constituted by a written pipe and a drawn text) is not (is incompatible with) a pipe (this mixed element springing at once from discourse and the image, whose ambiguous being the verbal and visual play of the calligram wants to evoke.)

Foucault even takes this calligram out of the text He points out that when we defocus on text and look at the text and the image on the canvas together, we begin to see them together and connect the text to the image which is indeed not a pipe. Negations multiply themselves

references Richard Calvocoressi, Magritte, Phaidon, 1994 Michel Foucault, This is not a Pipe Suzi Gablik, Magritte Marcel Paquet, Thoughts Rendered Visible