* 1898 Lessines
† 1967 Brüssel
René Magritte was born in the Belgian town of Lessiness on November 21, 1898. The family moves to Brussels, where Magritte studies at the Académie des Beaux-Arts from 1916 to 1918. In 1922 he finds employment as a drawer in a factory that makes wallpapers.
René Magritte's early paintings are geread at Impressionism and Cubism, but later also at Futurism. Knowledge of the "Pittura Metafisica" leads to Magritte's own surrealist trials, which are, however, met with incomprehension by the Belgians. This is why he went to Paris in 1927, where he played an active role in the circle of surrealists.
Magrite's first one-man show takes place in the Paris gallery "Le Centaure" in 1927. André Breton introduces him to the works of Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and others. René Magrittes own mysterious style begins to unfold. His painting's magic is created by the combination of his realistic depiction of everyday objects and the discrepancy to the known, to the perception of everyday life. Isolating objects, diverging from normal proportions or changing the image's texture can be confusing. Magritte combines a real object with an abstract figuration. Reality turns into a surreal scene by increasing the scale, gravity disappears, close and distant vision are interchanged. His paintings show a confusing confrontation of the usual with the unusual. René Magritte paints his probably most famous painting "La trahison des images" (Betrayal of the images) in 1929, which shows a pipe and the words "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" (This is not a pipe) next to it.
In 1930 he returns to Brussels. His works are shown in numerous exhibitions all over the world. International recognition follows after a large retrospective in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965.
René Magritte dies in Brussels on August 15, 1967.