It's a companion piece to The Murderous Sky immediately below depicting four identical bloody dying birds flying in front of a mountain of rocks. According to other sources the explanation behind this painting is rather simple: One day Magritte saw his wife eating a chocolate bird, so he decided he would do a painting of a young woman eating a live bird. Evidently he decided not to use an accurate portrait of Georgette because of the graphic nature of the subject material.
There is something about Belgium that exudes anonymity. Mention Jacques Brel and most people will scratch their heads. Mention some of his songs like 'If You Go Away' or 'Amsterdam' and people will know what, rather than who, you are talking about.
T here is a picture by Magritte that brings to mind Hobbes's vivid definition of laughter as "nothing else but sudden glory". It is painted in the Belgian's customary deadpan style and set in one of his bare-floored rooms. On the right is a sinister dark door in which a prim lace fan stands unaccountably upright.
The painting is a portrait of Edward James, an English heir to an American railroad fortune turned eccentric poet and influential patron of Surrealist art. If the idea appeals to you, all you have to do is be photographed full-faced at a table with your arms crossed and resting on the table and a sort of stone lying on the table to your right and not too far from your arm. Sylvester, ed.
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Sale Price realised GBP 1, Painted in
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 artminimalist art and conceptual art.
By Richard Dorment. They introduced us to his sad and silent world of deep foreboding, which he painted in a palette of shadowy blacks, deep blues and luminous greys not so much to disconcert his viewers as to give visual form to psychological truth. At the age of 13 he awoke in the middle of the night to find his mentally unstable mother missing from the family home.
More importantly than that though, he can be said to be one of the artists who has had the most profound effect on how we perceive the world, his pioneering vision in painting expanding our capacity for what could be visually possible. The Flavour of Tears shown in duplicate, believed to have been made twice so a cash-poor Magritte could supply two interested collectors, shows a bird which is also a leaf being eaten by a caterpillar. In La Famine the Eiffel Tower is reduced to garish daubs and a French Policeman to a comic figure, apparently an attack on his alienation from the Paris surrealists.
Here Magritte combines heavy pseudo-Renoir brushwork with two of the characteristic tropes of his earlier work—frames within the frame and men in hats. The paintings within the painting, carried under the arms of two men, are executed with the same kind of brushstrokes as the primary scene; one is a dense forest landscape, while the other is just a blue sky with clouds in it. What the artist seems to have been doing here is to deconstruct himself, to try and make himself disappear, as a painter.