Best known for his painting titled Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe, René-François-Ghislain Magritte, born November 21, 1898 in Lessines, Belgium, was the first child to Léopold and Régina Magritte. His father was a commercial traveler and a merchant tailor. Magritte had two other siblings, Raymond and Paul. However, at the age of fourteen, his mother, for unknown reasons, committed suicide after several attempts by drowning herself in the River Sambre.
Juxtaposition was a pattern evident in Magritte’s pieces. In The Red Model, Magritte appropriately combines a pair of boots with human feet. This may be one of the few paintings Magritte made that actually makes sense because, after all, boots are made for feet.My personal favorite is Where Euclid Walked (see below).
Magritte’s work focused on wielding the real with the surreal thereby confusing viewers, provoking them to contemplate the content of his paintings and question it as well. Magritte, meticulous in his work, influenced various artists including Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger and Marcel Broodthaers.
Magritte died on August 15, 1967 due to pancreatic cancer. His wife, Georgette Magritte passed away in 1986. However, their work lives on.