The Human Condition

The Human Condition

1945

René Magritte

(Belgian, 1898-1967)

Watercolor, crayon over graphite, ink and gouache

Sheet: 42.2 x 32.2 cm (16 5/8 x 12 11/16 in.)

Bequest of Lockwood Thompson 1992.274

Did you know?

During World War II, when this drawing was made, René Magritte focused on beauty in contrast to the chaos of the time and favored calm scenes and light colors in his work.

Description

This drawing belongs to a series in which René Magritte depicted an easel before a window. Each features a canvas that exactly replicates the landscape beyond it, inviting questions about the boundaries between art and reality. Magritte juxtaposed a highly realistic style and unexpected imagery to evoke the subconscious and question the experience of time and space. Of his Human Condition series, he wrote that he wanted to place the viewer “inside the room in the picture and, at the same time, conceptually outside in the real landscape.”

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