René Magritte

La Gâcheuse [The Bungler]

About this artwork

This painting is a Surrealist version of a vanitas painting, presenting youth and death in a wittily macabre combination. It is typical of Magritte’s work in that it is a finely painted scene which combines dramatically different elements in a deadpan style, making an illogical scene appear credible. Painted as a grisaille on tinted paper, it was made to be reproduced in black and white on the cover of the Belgian edition of the ‘Bulletin International du Surréalisme’. The painting formerly belonged to the jazz musician George Melly, who was involved with the British Surrealist Group while in his teens and was a great admirer of Magritte’s work.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    La Gâcheuse [The Bungler]
  • date created:
    1935
  • materials:
    Gouache on paper
  • measurements:
    20.00 x 13.60 cm (framed: 38.50 x 31.20 x 2.30 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995
  • accession number:
    GMA 3998
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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René Magritte

René Magritte