The Museum of Avant-garde

René Magritte

France (1898—1967)
Grown up in a family of men after his mother suicide, Magritte started painting in 1915 and enrolled at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1916. He discovered Futurism, Cubism and Purism. In 1925 his style moved towards Surrealism, influenced by the work of De Chirico. Later he settled in Paris and became close to Breton’s circle of surrealists. He returned to Brussels and turned again to advertising. He exhibited in US and in London, where he stayed at Edward James’ property. During WWII he remained in German-occupied Belgium and this caused a split with Breton. His style changed: in his so-called Renoir period he signed the manifesto of Surrealism in Full Sunlight, followed by his Vache period, which took a Fauvist approach. He also set up a business producing a number of fake paintings and forged fake banknotes. He went back to his more typical themes after the war, depicting common objects in an unusual context and playing between reality and illusion.