Friday, February 23, 2007
MAGRITTE : LE DOMAINE ENCHANTE
Rene Magritte (1898-1967 ) was born in Belgium. He spent his childhood and youth in Charleroi, an industrial city where life was very hard. In 1913 his mother committed suicide by drowning herself in a river, she was found later her head mysteriously wrapped in a cloth.
From 1916-1918 he studied off and on at the Art academy in Brussels. He began painting in 1920. He discovered surrealism around 1925 and in 1926 he painted "The Lost Jockey" which according to Magritte himself was his first successful surrealist painting.
But in 1926 he began working at a furious pace, averaging a new painting every six days and had a one-man exhibition the following year. Magritte was always a leftist and three times joined the Communist party but he couldn't stand the thought of his art being forced to follow ideological party lines. All the posters he did for the Communist party were rejected by its leadership.
His trade mark style is naturalistic-surrealist. His paintings represent recognizable scenes or objects and unites them with a world of dream and fantasy. In 1956 Magritte was awarded the Guggenheim Foundation artists fellowship, after that he began to photograph. René Magritte died in 1967.
"Le Domaine Enchanté" is a suite of eight paintings that Magritte painted in 1953. Together, they provided the model for the largest single work in the oeuvres of this great Belgian Surrealist, a mural 72 meters in length installed in "The Chandelier Room" of the casino at Knokke-le Zoute, Belgium, a decor uniting several of Magritte's most magical, best known motifs. This painting was sold on auction in 1981 for $1.7 million.