The artist

René Magritte

Born in Lessines, Belgium, in 1898, René Magritte is one of the most famous artists worldwide. After a debut influenced by Futurism, he became a founding member of the Brussels Surrealist group in the mid-1920s. When Magritte discovered the works of Giorgio De Chirico, his painting gradually assumed the features which make it immediately identifiable: subjects taken from everyday life, executed in what the painter called “a universal style in which an individual’s obsessions and foibles no longer count”. While the objects are depicted with clarity, the meaning of his compositions defies logic. In his painting, Magritte describes that mystery which he dubbed “the unknowable.” International success came in the USA. From 1947 onwards his paintings were shown regularly in New York. Then, in Paris in 1948, a provocative exhibition of what was called his “cow period” gave Magritte his revenge on the Paris art world which had been so slow to admit his worth. In 1965-1966, a retrospective organized at MoMA in New York and later in other American galleries, attested to the recognition he received in his lifetime, a reputation which has grown constantly since the painter’s death in 1967. Major exhibitions have multiplied while the tributes to his oeuvre bear witness to his enduring influence. With a higher profile than ever before, the images created by Magritte never cease to inspire.

OUR COLLABORATION with the Magritte Foundation is a celebration of the 125th anniversary of René Magritte's birth. On the initiative of the Magritte Foundation, the enigmatic and poetic world of René Magritte will be captured in crystal sculptures. Mention the name of Magritte today and the first images that spring to mind are a pipe, an apple and a bowler hat. It is precisely because of the prominence and iconic nature of these objects in the artist’s oeuvre that Lalique chose to recreate them in crystal.