"The Enchanted Pose" by Magritte hidden beneath "The Portrait"

13/02/2017

Researchers from the University of Antwerp and American scientists have rediscovered part of "The Enchanted Pose", a work by René Magritte that, for over 80 years, has been believed lost or destroyed. According to the University of Antwerp, it was hidden beneath "The Portrait", another work created by the Belgian surrealist.

"The Portrait", produced in 1935 is part of the collection at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The hidden canvass came to light during preparations for the current Magritte exhibition at the museum. Indeed, the New York exhibition curator and a MoMA conservator were intrigued by "The Portrait" because the edges of the picture were covered with paint, although the Belgian painter would normally leave them blank.

Using X-rays, it turns out that other images were hidden beneath the top layer of paint and that is when a section of "The Enchanted Pose" was discovered. Magritte himself might have divided it into several pieces after painting it. It is a depiction of two identical nude women, with oversized noses, eyes and ears. Today, it is still not clear why René Magritte would have destroyed his work. Many assume that he was no longer satisfied with it.

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