René Magritte, by his full name René François Ghislain Magritte, was an artist from Belgium, who lived from 1898 to 1967. His surrealist works of art were rather impressive, as he used ordinary objects as inspiration for his art, presenting them in an unusual manner. Viewers has to be open minded when looking at Magritte’s art, as the artist enjoyed challenging the usual preconceptions of reality of the observer. Through his work and art, Magritte managed to influence other artistic currents that came after him, such as pop, minimalism, and even the conceptual art. He was born in Lessines, but died in Brussels; a museum that bears his name was opened to commemorate the life and art of this amazing artist.
photos: © RMFAB
The Magritte Museum in Brussels opened in 2009, to cherish and celebrate the art and activity of René Magritte. Today, seven years later since its opening, the museum enjoys a great popularity. The staggering number of 2 million visitors passed its threshold already, with the purpose of seeing the art that marked the history of art forever. But this museum is not only just about exhibiting the arts of Magritte and nothing more. No, as it also contributed to international exhibits with the art pieces it holds, 19 exhibits of this kind so far, in some of the largest cities in the world. Slowly, but surely, the Magritte Museum started expanding its influence. Soon, more and more people that owned Magritte masterpieces started trusting the museum, lending it their private collections for exhibition. This way, the museum managed to gather 31 new works in just one year, due to the lenders that wanted to collaborate with the institution.
René Magritte, The Good Faith, 1964-1965, oil on canvas, private collection, photo: Ludion © Ch.Herscovici, with his kind authorization c/o SABAM, Belgium
But, there is something great coming up in 2017, as the Magritte Museum is preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary since the death of the artist. So, new projects are on the way, meant to mark the event appropriately. For any art enthusiast, the Magritte Museum holds the biggest Magritte collection in the world at the moment. There is no other museum or exhibition that has the same number of impressive Magritte artworks. Still, even so, paintings are not the only type of Magritte art displayed here. Pieces coming from all sorts of artistic media appreciated and used by René Magritte during his activity are also part of the museum’s exhibition. You can see sculptures, drawings, gouaches, musical scores, advertising posters, photos, and even films.
René Magritte, The Secret Player, 1927, oil on canvas, inv. 11631, RMFAB, Brussels, photo: J. Geleyns / Ro scan © Ch. Herscovici, with his kind authorization c/o SABAM, Belgium
René Magritte, The Return, 1940, oil on canvas, inv. 6667, RMFAB, Brussels, photo: J. Geleyns / Ro scan © Ch. Herscovici, with his kind authorization c/o SABAM, Belgium
René Magritte, The Famine, 1948, oil on canvas, inv. 11696, RMFAB, Brussels, photo: J. Geleyns / Ro scan © Ch. Herscovici, with his kind authorization c/o SABAM, Belgium
René Magritte, The Blank Page, 1969, oil on canvas, inv. 10711, RMFAB, Brussels, photo: J. Geleyns / Ro scan © Ch. Herscovici, with his kind authorization c/o SABAM, Belgium
Also, everything in this museum is highly organized, in a chronological manner, representing the three main periods of the artist’s activity. The first period is between 1898 and 1929, when the artists starts forming his pathway in art and performs his first surrealist artworks. Then it comes the period between 1930 and 1950, when Magritte came back to Brussels, and started working in advertising, in the attempt to earn some money for living. He hated such work, as he called it “idiotic works”. And finally, the last period, between 1951 and 1967, which is called The Enchanted Domain, representing the more mature and impressive artwork of René Magritte.