René Magritte Essay

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René Magritte Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte was a master not only of the obvious, but of the obscure as well. In his artwork, Magritte toyed with everyday objects, human habits and emotions, placing them in foreign contexts and questioning their familiar meanings. He suggested new interpretations of old things in his deceivingly simple paintings, making the commonplace profound and the rational irrational. He painted his canvasses in the same manner as he lived his life -- in strange modesty and under constant analysis. Magritte was born in 1898 in the small town of Lessines, a cosmopolitan area of Belgium that was greatly influenced by the French. Twelve years later, Magritte, along with his parents and two younger brothers,…show more content…
In 1922, Magritte and Georgette randomly ran into each other at a botanical garden in Brussels, and the couple married soon thereafter. Soon after getting married, Magritte supported Georgette and himself by painting wallpaper designs and designing posters, devoting only his free time to serious painting. Also in 1922, Magritte was shown Giorgio de Chirico's painting, The Song of Love. This painting's manipulation of reality supposedly moved Magritte to tears, and Magritte later said of de Chirico: "[He] was the first to dream of what must be painted and not how to paint." In 1925, Magritte painted what he considered to be his first major work, Le Jockey Perdu (The Lost Jockey). Supported by a contract from the Galérie Le Centaure in Brussels, he began to devote his full time to serious paining. In 1927, he held his first one-man show at the Galérie Le Centaure. While the show flopped and Magritte received much harsh criticism, the gallery's continued sponsorship allowed Magritte to further hone his artistry. Magritte then moved to Paris to work alongside other Surrealists. During this time, he painted many bizarre and macabre scenes. A classic example of Magritte's work at this time is his 1926 painting, L'Assassin Menacé (The Threatened Assassin). While in Paris, Magritte became acquainted with much of Surrealist theory,
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