Watercolor and gouache
Support: Beige(1) wove paper
Sheet: 32.1 x 41.8 cm (12 5/8 x 16 7/16 in.)
© C. Herscovici / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Bequest of Lockwood Thompson 1992.275
Catalogue raisonné: Sylvester 1191
René Magritte made an almost identical painting around the same time that he completed this drawing.
René Magritte was among the leading figures of the Surrealist movement, whose work emphasized dreams, the subconscious, and a break from reason and logic during the early 20th century. Magritte, in particular, often situated realistic imagery within ridiculous or unusual situations in order to question perception. Here, a rose grows on a rocky island amid a vast sea, set against a blue sky filled with large white clouds. By situating the flower within a barren and inhospitable setting, Magritte invites the viewer to question its purpose and survival. Created as World War II came to an end, the enigmatic image could symbolize a new beginning, although Magritte avoided assigning it a specific meaning.
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