It is always interesting to observe someone’s first encounter with René Magritte. Artist’s surreal paintings are confusing, he tended to reflect ordinary objects in strange context breaking rules of a common reality perception. Titles of paintings are often even more confusing and can turn the first impression upside down.
The Treachery of Images
René Magritte, The Treachery of Images, 1929
This is the classic of René artwork, he drew a pipe and wrote below that it is not a pipe, making the viewer
to question which part of the painting to believe and even doubt own eyes that see the pipe on the painting.
The Two Mysteries
Reneé Magritte, The Two Mysteries, 1966
Here the artist takes the mockery one level up, adding the previous painting with a pipe to another one with another pipe leaving the confusing title as well.
The Lovers II
René Magritte, The Lovers II, 1928
Another common feature of paintings is frustration due to unfulfilled desires. A piece of cloth is preventing the kiss leaving the frustration instead of the passion.
René Magritte, Golconda, 1953
Magritte loved to capture the attention with something so strange and in the same time so magnetizing. He knew that the picture is just a representation and it can do anything as it is not real, therefore here for example he drew raining men.
René Magritte, La Clairvoyance, 1936
The painter reflects himself reflecting the possible future leaving his imagination on the painting and the confusion in the minds of others.
The Palace of Curtains, III
The artist continues to play with the relations between objects and words, writing the sky in French right next to its reflection.
René Magritte, The Memory, 1944
Is the memory in the statue`s bleeding eye? Is it a memory loss? Or maybe statue is already missing a memory of a sunset it will not see?
The Listening Room
René Magritte, The Listening Room, 1952
Another approach of René Magritte was to change the usual size of the objects to the opposite, smaller to bigger and the other way around.
René Magritte, Hegel’s Holidays, 1958
Another riddle for the brain, a combination of two opposing objects, one – containing the water, the other – repelling. The Initially artists had doubts about the painting title and even wanted to rename it to “The philosopher’s holiday” due to the same ideas Nazi shared with Hegel, but eventually he emphasized that Hegel should not be seen only from one perspective as he had written many good things before.
René Magritte, Time Transfixed, 1938
Magritte drew this for Edward James to hang it on the stairs on the way to the ballroom, however James preferred to hang it above the fireplace instead. René was quite picky with the titles of his paintings therefore he often expressed his discontent regarding the translation, it also was the case of the “Time Transfixed”, as full and more precise name would be an “Ongoing Time Stabbed by a Dagger”.
Perspective II, Manet’s Balcony
René Magritte, Perspective II, Manet’s Balcony, 1950
This could be considered as a sort of a mockery of the ‘Le Balcon’ by Edouard Manet replacing people with coffins.
The Golden Legend
Reneé Magritte, The Golden Legend, 1958
Each detail separately is absolutely realistic, but if the bread is floating, how strange is that?
Memory of The Voyage
René Magritte, Memory of a Journey, 1958
The way Magritte is taking something simple and a piece of art itself already mixing it in surrealistic composition makes the work flawless.
The Prepared Bouquet
Reneé Magritte, The Prepared Bouquet, 1951
Magritte considered a man as something great but in the same time equal to all the other things surrounding us.