Rene Magritte – The Mind of the Traveler 1926
The artist Rene Magritte
René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. René became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.
Magritte Rene Early life
Rene Magritte was born in Lessines, in the province of Hainaut, Belgium, in 1898. He was the oldest son of , . Thereafter, he and his two brothers were raised by his grandmother.Little is known about Magritte‘s early life. He began lessons in drawing in 1910
René François Ghislain Magritte was born in Lessines, Belgium, on November 21, 1898, the oldest of three boys. His parents , Léopold Magritte a tailor and textile merchant, and Régina , who was a milliner before she got married .His father’s manufacturing business at times allowed the family to live in relative comfort, but financial difficulties were a constant threat and forced them to move about the country with some regularity. Magritte’s young world was dealt a far more destructive blow in 1912.
The tragic death of his mother – 1912
On 12 March 1912, his mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre. This was not her first attempt at taking her own life; she had made many over a number of years, driving her husband Léopold to lock her into her bedroom. One day she escaped, and was missing for days. Her body was later discovered a mile or so down the nearby river.
According to a legend, 13-year-old Magritte was present when her body was retrieved from the water, but recent research has discredited this story, which may have originated with the family nurse. Supposedly, when his mother was found, her dress was covering her face, an image that has been suggested as the source of several of Magritte’s paintings in 1927–1928 of people with cloth obscuring their faces, including Les Amants (The lovers) and The Invention of Life (L’Invention De-La-Vie) 1928 .Magritte found solace from the tragedy in films and novels and especially through painting.Magritte disagreed with such interpretations, denying any relation between his paintings and his mother’s death. “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing,” he wrote, “they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does it mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”
Magritte’s earliest paintings, which date from about 1915, were Impressionistic in style. During 1916–1918, he studied at the Brussels Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels,under Constant Montald, but found the instruction uninspiring. He also took classes at the Académie Royale from the painter and poster designer Gisbert Combaz.Although he was ultimately unimpressed with the institution, he was nonetheless exposed to emerging styles such as cubism and futurism, which significantly altered the direction of his work. Indeed, many of Magritte’s paintings during 1918–1924 were influenced by Futurism and by the figurative Cubism of Metzinger and Pablo Picasso.