|René Magritte Gallery
|René Magritte (1898-1967)
René was born in Belgium and in 1922 he married Georgette Berger.
In 1925, Magritte painted what he considered to be his first major work, in 1927, he held his first one-man show at the Galérie Le Centaure.
He toyed with everyday objects, human habits and emotions, placing them in foreign contexts and questioning their familiar meanings.
He rehabilitated the object. He made the commonplace profound and the rational irrational.
His work goes beyond escapism and serves to reveal some of the murkier and complex aspects of the human condition.
Lola de Valence, 1948
Medium: Gouache, white wove paper
Dimensions: 18 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (46.04 x 37.78 cm) (sheet)
Owner: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Lola de Valence was one of a group of gouaches shown in Magritte's first one-man show in Paris in 1948. Disgruntled that it took the Parisian art world so long to appreciate his art, Magritte called these gouaches the "vache," or "cow" paintings, after their deliberately provocative style and content. The title of this work refers to a scandalous portrait of a Spanish dancer painted by the French artist Edouard Manet in 1862, and then immortalized in a poem by Charles Baudelaire. Magritte takes images from his own work of the 1930s, the naked woman leaning against a rock and a female torso, and arranges them in a cold and artificial way. Rather than being a painting about a woman, Lola de Valence is a parody on Magritte's own reputation as a painter of enigmatic nudes and the artificiality of the Surrealist encounter with the female body.
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