Rene Magritte

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Lessines, Belgium
Birth Sign
Lessines, Belgium

Rene Francois Ghislain Magritte was a surrealist artist who created works of art that perplexed viewers and made them rethink their own conceptions of reality. The most admirable aspect of this artist was that he avoided using ornate imagery or intricate designs in favor of employing simple graphics and everyday objects to create paintings that provided new meaning to previously held beliefs. Through the funny words he delivered through his drawings, he earned a reputation for being able to make people think. He had started drawing as a child and understood that he intended to spend his entire life drawing, sketching, and painting. His painting technique was heavily affected by a tragic episode that occurred when he was a child: his mother committed herself by drowning, and her body was discovered with her clothing covering her face. This vision stayed with him and can be seen in many of his paintings in which the object’s face is hidden. He began by painting in an impressionist style but eventually shifted his focus to surrealism. He used to create wallpapers and depict advertising before becoming a successful artist—whatever work he did, he was always a true artist at heart. He is generally credited with influencing pop, minimalist, and conceptual art today.

Childhood and Adolescence

He was the eldest son of tailor and textile dealer Leopold Magritte and his wife Regina. He began taking sketching lessons when he was 12 years old.

Except for the fact that his boyhood was damaged by a tragic occurrence, little is known about Magritte’s early life. His mother took her own life by drowning in the Sambre River. His mother’s death had a profound impact on him.
He began painting while he was a teenager, and his first works are from 1915. He began by painting in an impressionistic style.

In 1916, he entered Brussels’ Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts, where he studied under Constant Montale. He stayed there for two terms until 1918, albeit he didn’t enjoy the experience.

The Career of Rene

From 1918 until 1924, his paintings, the majority of which were female nudes, represented futurism and Metzinger’s figurative Cubism.

He fought in the Belgian military from December 1920 to September 1921 before working as a draughtsman in a wallpaper manufacturer, where he designed posters and ads until 1926.

In 1923, he sold his first painting, a portrait of singer Evelyn Berlin. This resulted in a contract with the Galerie la Centaure in 1926, allowing him to work full-time as an artist. ‘The Lost Jockey,’ his first surreal painting, was completed the same year.

He began to dig deeply into surrealism, frequently creating perplexing visuals with everyday materials and simple iconography. He used to play with people’s imaginations by merging bits of truth with fiction, challenging people’s minds to figure out what his paintings were really about.

In 1927, he held his first exhibition in Brussels, where he displayed 61 paintings. The exhibition was a flop, and his works were panned by critics. He departed for Paris, depressed.

He got friends with Andre Breton, a leading surrealist in Paris and a French writer and poet. There, he created his own surrealist style, infusing his paintings with a dreamlike feel.

In 1928, he made ‘The Lovers,’ a painting depicting a couple kissing as their heads are covered in grey bags. The next year, he painted ‘The Treachery of Images,’ a painting that displays a pipe with the text ‘This is not a pipe.’

After the Galerie la Centaure collapsed in 1929, Magritte was left without a consistent source of income. In 1930, he returned to Brussels and resumed work at the wallpaper factory. He and his brother Paul founded an agency, which provided him with a moderate income.

He remained in Brussels during the German occupation of the city during World War II. His friend Breton became enraged and severed all relations with him. Auguste Renoir, an impressionist painter, was a major influence on his work during this period (1943–44).

During the mid-to-late 1940s, he supplemented his income by forging Picasso, Braque, and Chirico works to sell to the Germans. To get through the postwar years, he also manufactured bogus banknotes.

Later on, he regretted counterfeiting but recognized that there was no other way to get by during the grim war years. In 1948, he reverted to his surrealistic style of art as the circumstances improved.

Rene’s Major Projects

‘The Treachery of Images,’ which portrays a pipe with the text ‘This is not a pipe,’ is one of his most well-known works. The artist was implying that the picture as a whole was only a representation of a pipe, not a real pipe.

His self-portrait, ‘The Son of Guy,’ depicts a man in an overcoat, his face concealed by a hovering green apple. In the background, there is the sea and a foggy sky. This was regarded as one of his most perplexing works.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1913, while they were both youths, he met Georgette Berger for the first time. In 1920, the pair reconnected and fell in love. Their romance blossomed into marriage in 1922, which lasted until the artist’s death.
Magritte died in 1967 as a result of pancreatic cancer.

In May 2009, the Magritte Museum in Brussels opened its doors. It is located near the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and is dedicated to the work of this outstanding surrealist artist.

Estimated Net worth

Rene is one of the wealthiest painters, as well as one of the most popular. Rene Magritte’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


One of these great artists’ paintings was stolen from a museum, but the thieves were unable to sell it on the black market due to its fame, therefore it was quickly returned intact.