René François Ghislain Magritte[p] 1898 - 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images. His intended goal for his work was to challenge observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality and force viewers to become hypersensitive to their surroundings. Magritte was born in Lessines, in the province of Hainaut, in 1898, the eldest son of Léopold Magritte, who was a tailor and textile merchant, and Régina (née Bertinchamps), a milliner until her marriage. Little is known about Magritte's early life. He began lessons in drawing in 1910. In 1912, his mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre. . 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. Magritte's earliest paintings, which date from about 1915, were Impressionistic in style.From 1916 to 1918 he studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, under Constant Montald, but found the instruction uninspiring. The paintings he produced during the years 1918-1924 were influenced by Futurism and by the offshoot of Cubism practiced by Metzinger.Most of his works of this period are female nudes. In 1922 Magritte married Georgette Berger, whom he had met as a child in 1913. From December 1920 until September 1921, Magritte served in the Belgian infantry in the Flemish town of Beverlo near Leopoldsburg. In 1922-1923, he worked as a draughtsman in a wallpaper factory, and was a poster and advertisement designer until 1926, when a contract with Galerie le Centaure in Brussels made it possible for him to paint full-time. In 1926, Magritte produced his first surreal painting, The Lost Jockey (Le jockey perdu), and held his first exhibition in Brussels in 1927. Critics heaped abuse on the exhibition.
Book condition: Very good
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; Second Printing edition (1 Dec. 1972)