René François Ghislain Magritte (*21 November 1898 in Lessines in the Walloon province of Hainaut, Belgium; † 15 August 1967 in Brussels) was a Belgian Surrealist painter.
He 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. His imagery has influenced pop art, minimalist art, and conceptual art.
Although René Magritte is largely associated with surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst, he pursued a different goal, namely an increased awareness of reality. As a graduate of the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Magritte spent most of his career in Belgium. His impassive, realistic style enhanced the effect of his quietly strange depictions of familiar objects and situations. This often involves manipulating the scale (a giant comb; a tiny bed) or confusing opposites: inside and outside, day and night, the human self and the inanimate object. Magritte was particularly interested in the conventional, deeply rooted equation of material things with visual or verbal representations. His works prompt us to resist our habitual response and to recognize the painted images before us as precisely that — images, and not the things they depict.
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224 | Exercices spirituels (Geistige Übungen), 1936
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