René Magritte, this is not a painter
Magritte was a metaphysical and surreal painter who treated facts with humour and removed their seriousness. Instead of inventing techniques, he preferred to get to the bottom of things and use paint, which became an instrument of knowledge inseparable from mystery.
René Gislain Magritte was born to a humble family on 21 November 1898 in Lessines, Belgium. His childhood was marked by his mother’s suicide. At the age of 15, he met Georgette Berger, whom he married in 1922. She remained his only model throughout his life.
In 1915, Magritte settled in Brussels and created his first Impressionist works. He studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and after an initial period influenced by Cubism, he turned towards Surrealism. He met a group of Surrealists and later, on returning to Belgium, became the leader of the Belgian Surrealists.
His art attempted to show that all we glimpse of reality is its mystery, if we remove ourselves from our usual, routine logic. His works often played on the discrepancy between an object and its representation. His most famous work is a painting representing an image of a pipe, under which is the text "Ceci n’est pas une pipe" (This is not a pipe). It is important to consider the object as a concrete reality and not according to an abstract term; he explains this by saying that it is only a representation of a pipe.
Magritte's painting ponders its own nature, the action of the painter on the image. A painting is never a representation of a real object, but the action of the painter's thoughts about this object, with a penchant for mystery. He also excelled in the representation of mental images. He had a decorative talent that expressed itself in the geometric arrangement of the representation. The essential element is his distaste for plastic, pictorial painting; he wanted to eliminate everything conventional. For him, reality must not be regarded symbolically; and painting is not a mirror of reality.
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