René François Ghislain Magritte

(21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. H e became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fell under the umbrella of surrealism. His work challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. Magritte studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels from 1916 to 1918, where he is a fellow student of the painter Viktor Servranckx. Together they write the text “L’art pure: défense de l’esthétique” (The pure art: advocating the esthetic), which they do not publish. As of 1922 he finds employment as a drawer in a factory that makes wallpapers and also earns a living making advertisements for fashion shops. René Magritte’s early paintings are geared at Impressionism and Cubism and later at Futurism. Knowledge of the “Pittura Metafisica” leads to Magritte’s own surrealist trials. In 1927 he moves to Paris where his first exhibition takes place in the gallery “Le Centaure”. He soon gets in touch with André Breton, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and others, and plays an active role in the circle of Surrealists. The Museum of Modern Art in New York shows a first large retrospective of his works few years before René Magritte died, in Brussels, on August 15, 1967.