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Temporary exhibitions by the LMMA are: J.M.W. Turner - René Magritte - Henri Matisse
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The Noble Hall is one of the art galleries of the Lovian Museum for Modern Art in Little Europe, Noble City. It is named after the Lovian royal family. The current exhibition is about René Magritte, the Belgian surrealist painter, and was established in cooperation with the Capitol Museum Group.

René Magritte Edit

On the Threshold of Liberty

On the Threshold of Liberty

The painting on the right is the On the Threshold of Liberty remake of 1937. (oil on canvas, 236 x 145 cm.)

René François Ghislain Magritte was born on November 21 in 1898 and died on August 15 in 1967. He was a Belgian surrealist artist and became well known for a number of witty and amusing images. Magritte was born in Lessines as the eldest son of Léopold Magritte and Adeline. He began drawing lessons in 1910. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels for two years until 1918. In 1922 he married Georgette Berger, whom he had met in 1913.

Magritte worked in a wallpaper factory, and was a poster and advertisement designer until 1926 when a contract with Galerie la Centaure in Brussels made it possible for him to paint full-time. In 1926, Magritte produced his first surreal painting - Le jockey perdu (the lost jockey) - and held his first exhibition in Brussels in 1927. Critics heaped abuse on the exhibition. Depressed by the failure, he moved to Paris where he became friends with André Breton, and became involved in the surrealist group.

Surrealist patron Edward James allowed Magritte, in the early stages of his career, to stay rent-free in his London home and paint. James features in two of Magritte’s pieces, The Principle Pleasure and La Reproduction Interdite.

For more information on the painter, see here.

Exhibition Edit

The Empty Mask Edit

The Empty Mask

The Empty Mask - 1928
oil on canvas, 81 x 116 cm.

Golconde

Golconde - 1953
oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm.

The Son of Man

The Son of Man - 1964
oil on canvas, 116 x 89 cm.

Time Transfixed

Time Transfixed - 1938
oil on canvas, 147 x 99 cm.

In his essay Words and Images, published in 1929, René Magritte observed that each image 'suggests that there are others behind it'. In The Empty Mask we view through a freestanding frame of irregular shape and can see these 'other images'. These images are a sky, a lead curtain festooned with sleigh bells, a house façade, a sheet of paper cut-outs, a forest and a fire. The title evokes the fear of the invisible which pervades the artist's work and reflects the surrealists' fascination with the subconscious.
Image can be found on the right

Golconde Edit

Golconde depicts a scene of identical men dressed in dark overcoats and bowler hats, who seem to be falling like rain or floating like helium-balloons - though there is no actual indication of motion -, against a backdrop of buildings and blue sky. It is humorous, but with an obvious criticism of the conventional effacing of individuality. Magritte himself lived in a similar suburban environment, and dressed in a similar fashion. Men in bowler hats have appeared frequently in Magritte's work since his 1926 painting The Musings of a Solitary Walker. The men in the bowler hats are represented as having undefined or identical personalities.

Charly Herscovici commented on Golconde:

"Magritte was fascinated by the seductiveness of images. Ordinarily, you see a picture of something and you believe in it, you are seduced by it; you take its honesty for granted. But Magritte knew that representations of things can lie. These images of men aren't men, just pictures of them, so they don't have to follow any rules. This painting is fun, but it also makes us aware of the falsity of representation."[1]
Image can be found on the right

On the Threshold of Liberty Edit

On the Threshold of Liberty depicts a large room surrounded by windows. Each window reveals a different scene: a sky, fire, wood, a forest, the front of a building, an ornamental pattern, a female torso and a strange metallic texture featuring Magritte's trademark spherical bells. This shows ressemblances with his earlier work The Empty Mask. Inside the room there is a cannon. This work was originally painted in 1929. A second version was painted in 1937 depicting a larger area of the room. In 1983 the American Mark Isham composed a piece of music titled after this painting.
Image can be found here

The Son of Man Edit

The Son of Man (original title: Le fils de l'homme) was painted as a self-portrait. The painting consists of a man in a suit and a bowler hat standing in front of a small wall, beyond which is the sea and a cloudy sky. The man's face is largely obscured by a hovering green apple. However, the man's left eye can be seen peeking over the edge of the apple. Another subtle feature is that the man's left arm appears to bend backwards at the elbow. The name "Son of Man" is believed to have derived from the Abrahamic creation story. The modern businessman is the son of Adam, and the apple represents temptation with which one is still faced in the modern world.

About the painting Magritte said:

"At least it hides the face partly. Well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It's something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present."[2]

There also exist two similar paintings: The Great War on Facades, where a flower vocvers the face of a woman holding an umbrella, and Man in the Bowler Hat, where a bird obscures the man's face instead of the apple.
Image can be found on the right

Time Transfixed Edit

Time Transfixed is in general a surrealist work which challenges the viewer’s sense of reality and comprehension of stability. The painting depicts a locomotive coming out of a fireplace. The locomotive appears to be emerging from the fireplace at a regular speed, giving the impression that life is as normal in this household. The clock itself is pointing towards a time that is usually a period of lunch, providing further evidence towards the lack of haste apparent in the imagery.

In explaining Time Transfixed, Magritte said:

"I decided to paint the image of a locomotive (...) in order for its mystery to be evoked, another immediately familiar image without mystery — the image of a dining room fireplace — was joined."

Reactions from the visitors Edit

Ceci n'est pas une exhibition

The treachery of images 1928–1929 - Aesop



References Edit

  1. Said in an Interview with Charly Herscovici.
  2. In a radio interview with Jean Neyens in 1965."

See also Edit

CapitolMuseum Seal
Lovian Museum for Modern Art
Collection: Turner Hall (Romanticism) - Courbet Hall (Realism) - Monet Hall (Impressionism) - Brake Hall (Cubism) - Macke Hall (Expressionism) - Wesselman Hall (Pop Art) - Ernst Hall (Surrealism) - Landfield Hall (Color Field)
Exhibitions: Medvedev Hall (J.M.W. Turner) - Noble Hall (René Magritte) - Washington Hall (Henri Matisse)
Other Musea: Capitol Museum Group

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