Rene Magritte: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Rene Magritte, the famous Belgian artist.

  • Rene Magritte was born on 21st November 1898 in Hainaut, Lessines, Belgium.
  • He started to have drawing lessons when he was twelve years old.
  • In 1912, Magritte’s mother drowned in the River Sambre.
  • Rene Magritte studied at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
  • Magritte married Georgette Berger in 1923. Magritte couldn’t afford to paint full-time at this point, and he worked in a wallpaper factory and designed posters.
  • In 1926, Magritte received a contract from the Galerie le Centaure (Brussels) allowing him to become a full-time artist.
  • Magritte’s first surreal painting was the The Lost Jockey, completed in 1926.
  • In 1927, Magritte moved to Paris and became a key member of the Surrealism movement. He was good friends with the artist, Andre Breton, and he knew Joan Miro and Salvador Dali.
  • In 1929 the Galerie le Centaure closed and Magritte’s contract was terminated. In order to earn  money, he started an advertising agency with his brother.
  • During World War 2, Rene Magritte lived in German-occupied Belgium. He started to paint more upbeat works and dismissed his previous work as being to pessimistic.
  • In the 1940s Magritte supplemented his income by forging work by famous artists such as Picasso, and then selling the fake works of art. He also experimented with forging banknotes.
  • Magritte died on 15th August 1967. He was 68 years old and had pancreatic cancer.
  • Magritte’s work started to become really popular in the 1960s. His paintings have inspired many artists, including: Andy Warhol, Duane Michals and Jasper Johns.
  • His work often contains everyday objects (such as bowler hats, apples and pipes) in odd and unusual settings. His paintings often include the image of blue cloudy skies.
  • In 2009 the Magritte Museum opened in Brussels, displaying more than 200 of Magritte’s paintings, including The Empire of Light series and The Return.
  • His most famous works include: The Son of Man, Golconde and The Mysteries of the Horizon.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous artists or learn more about Belgium, Magritte’s birthplace.

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