© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2010

Reference URL

Untitled About 1935 or 1936
This gouache is one of a number of works on paper which were given by various surrealist artists to Wolfgang Paalen, so that he could combine them to form four surrealist portfolios. Each comprising fifteen original drawings, they were sold at the 1936 ‘International Surrealist Exhibition’ in London, with the aim to help fund surrealist publications. It relates to his celebrated painting ‘On the Threshold of Liberty’, which shows a room with walls made up of paintings. The recurring motifs of blue sky with clouds, bells suspended on a metal drape and hexagonal drums are explored throughout Magritte’s oeuvre.

Glossary Open


Usually refers to watercolour mixed with white pigment that retains the fluidity of the former but without the transparency. The term body-colour is also used.


A distinctive element in a work of art or design.


French term which is used to refer to an artist's total body of work.


A group of art works, by one or more artists, issued or housed together in a portfolio case. This often applies to photographs or prints, and portfolios often include a title page or introductory text. The term is also used to describe a group of works which exemplify an artist's work overall.


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Gouache, Motif, Oeuvre, Portfolio, Surrealism


  • Acc. No. GMA 3904
  • Medium Gouache on paper
  • Size 26.60 x 20.60 cm
  • Credit Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995