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Ren Franois-Ghislain Magritte 1898-1967 On November 21 1898 Ren Franois-Ghislain Magritte was born in Lessines Hainaut Belgium to Adeline Magritte On March 12 1912 a mere fourteen years later Adelines body was fished out of the Sambre River where she committed suicide Little did she know that her son would become one of the most celebrated surrealists of his time This unexpected tragedy set the stage for the Magritte familys move to Charleroi At age 16 Ren enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels At that time Magritte had already begun to paint in the style closely related to surrealism that was predominant throughout his extensive career Noted as a meticulous skillful technician he created works that contain an extraordinary juxtaposition of ordinary objects or an unusual context that gives new meaning to familiar things This juxtaposition is frequently called magic realism of which Magritte was the prime advocate In addition to fantastic elements he displayed a trenchant wit creating surrealist versions of famous paintings such as Madame Rcamier de David in 1949 In this piece an elaborate coffin is substituted for the reclining woman in the famous portrait by Jacques Louis David Magrittes work was world reknowned In 1936 he came to New York City where his work was first exhibited in the United States Magrittes paintings were all of such marvelous stature that my research has not named just one to be his magnum opus Unfortunately in 1965 his health began to decline and from there on he stayed in Italy where he and his wife had resided for many years Sadly on August 15 1967 Ren Magritte took his last breaths and passed away I chose Ren Magritte because his paintings on the following pages captivate me The visual appeal is not the only thing that draws me to them but also the creativity that encompasses each and every painting Many questions arose in my mind while researching
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