Oil on canvas
Unframed: 57.2 x 75.9 x 2.9 cm (22 1/2 x 29 7/8 x 1 1/8 in.)
© C. Herscovici / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Bequest of Lockwood Thompson 1992.298
This is the first of many paintings Magritte made with the title The Secret Life.
A preeminent Surrealist active in Brussels and Paris, Magritte used traditional painting techniques to create images of realistically rendered objects juxtaposed illogically - comparable in spirit to poet Isidore Ducasse's definition of beauty as"the chance meeting on a dissection table of a sewing machine and an umbrella." Magritte's visual paradoxes are designed to undermine our complacent belief in a stable, predictable, rational world.
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