Thursday, January 23, 2020
RenÃÂ© Magritte Essay -- Arts Paintings Art History
RenÃ © Magritte Belgian Surrealist artist RenÃ © 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, moved to ChÃ ¢telet, where the future artist studied sketching. On vacations with his grandmother and Aunt Flora during the summer months, Magritte frequented an old cemetery at Soignies. In this cemetery, Magritte often played with a little girl, opening trap doors and descending into underground vaults. This experience would prove a great influence upon his later artwork, as wooden caskets and granite tombstones recur in many of his paintings. Magritte also developed a fascination with religion around this time, often dressing up as a priest and holding mock mass services in complete seriousness. In 1912, RÃ ©gina Bertinchamp, Magritte's mother, committed suicide by drowning herself in the Sambre River. The night of her suicide, the Magrittes followed Bertinchamp's footprints to the river, where they found her dead with her nightgown wrapped around her face. Magritte was 14 at the time. He would claim years later that his only recollection of his mother's death was his pride at being the center of attention and his subsequent identity formation as the "son of a dead woman." Some critics point out that several of the subjects in Magritte's paintings are veiled in white sheets as a reference to his mother's suicide. A year later, Magritte's father moved the family to Charleroi. It was in Charleroi that Magritte would meet his future wife Georgette Berger on a carousel at the town fair. However, the two would not see one another again until a chance meeting in Brussels years later. In Charleroi, Magritte quickly lost interest in his studies and asked his father for permission to study at the AcadÃ ©mie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. ... ... Faubourg in Paris. The exhibition caused much scandal, but won few admirers. Soon after, Magritte resigned to his original style, though he bitterly attributed this retroaction to his desire to please Georgette, who preferred his earlier paintings. He continued to acquire much success all over the world with paintings such as L'Empire des LumiÃ ¨res (The Empire of Lights, 1954), which employed standard Surrealist techniques and precise Magritte lines. On August 15, 1967, Magritte died in Brussels. Unlike many of his Surrealist counterparts, Magritte lived quite humbly and incon uously. He did not draw much attention to himself, and he lived life relatively uneventfully. Despite his unassuming lifestyle, though, Magritte managed to leave an artistic legacy of transforming the ordinary into the fantastic. While some art historians attribute Magritte's art to his desire to oppose and combat the triviality of everyday life, others suggest that his work goes beyond escapism and serves to reveal some of the murkier and complex aspects of the human condition. Whatever the impetus was for his art, it is certain that Magritte's works are at once hauntingly beautiful and deeply provocative.