Rene Magritte

Le Miroir magique [The Magic Mirror] (1929)

About this artwork

This is one of a series of 'word paintings' made by Magritte in the late 1920s, in which the words and the image seem to be in conflict. The text and the image are given the same importance even though they contradict each other. Even the exact identity of the object is uncertain, despite the clarity of the style of painting. Magritte loved visual puns and paradoxes and was interested in the relationship between the painted image and the visible world and between text and image.

see media
  • title: Le Miroir magique [The Magic Mirror]
  • accession number: GMA 3997
  • artist: Rene MagritteBelgian (1898 - 1967)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Surrealism
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1929
  • measurements: 73.00 x 54.50 cm
  • credit line: Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995
  • copyright: © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte

Magritte was born in Belgium and, apart from a few years spent in Paris in the late 1920s, lived there all his life. Unlike many Surrealists, Magritte did not subscribe to the view that the unconscious could be expressed through chance or 'automatic' techniques. Instead, he planned and executed his paintings with all the deliberation and skill of an academic painter. The results are surprisingly credible images of seemingly illogical scenes. Magritte would undermine logic by tampering with scale and by placing unrelated objects in unexpected settings. A constant theme running through his art is the relationship that exists between the painted image and the visible world, between fiction and reality. Magritte's art blurs the boundaries between the two.