Rene Magritte

Belgian (1898 - 1967)
Rene Magritte Le Miroir magique [The Magic Mirror] 1929 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017.


Born 1898
Died 1967
Nationality Belgian
Birth place Lessen
Death place Schaerbeek

Magritte was born in Belgium and, apart from a few years spent in Paris in the late 1920s, lived there all his life. Unlike many Surrealists, Magritte did not subscribe to the view that the unconscious could be expressed through chance or 'automatic' techniques. Instead, he planned and executed his paintings with all the deliberation and skill of an academic painter. The results are surprisingly credible images of seemingly illogical scenes. Magritte would undermine logic by tampering with scale and by placing unrelated objects in unexpected settings. A constant theme running through his art is the relationship that exists between the painted image and the visible world, between fiction and reality. Magritte's art blurs the boundaries between the two.

Glossary terms

  • 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.


Exhibition finished
Surreal Encounters | Collecting the Marvellous
  • 4 June 2016 to 11 September 2016
Modern One
Surrealism and the Marvellous
Modern Two