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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

René Magritte
LES FENÊTRES DE L'AUBE
Lote. Vendido 653,000 GBP (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE
322

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

René Magritte
LES FENÊTRES DE L'AUBE
Lote. Vendido 653,000 GBP (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE

Details & Cataloguing

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René Magritte
1898 - 1967
LES FENÊTRES DE L'AUBE
signed Magritte (lower right)
oil on canvas
73 by 54.2cm., 28 3/4 by 21 3/8 in.
Painted in 1928.
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Procedencia

Galerie L’Époque, Brussels (acquired directly from the artist)
Galerie Le Centaure, Brussels (acquired from the above in 1929)
Edouard-Léon-Théodore Mesens, Brussels (acquired from the above in 1932-33)
Marc Hendrickx, Brussels (acquired from the above in the late 1950s)
Mr & Mrs Leonard Horwich, Chicago (acquired in 1960)
Sale: Finarte, Milan, 13th-16th May 1968
Purchased at the above sale by the father of the present owner

Expuesto

Chicago, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Hyde Park Collects: Hyde Park-Kenwood Centennial Exhibition, 1962, no. 8
Chicago, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, René Magritte, 1964, no. 6

Documentación

David Sylvester & Sarah Whitfield, René Magritte, Catalogue raisonné, London, 1992, vol. I, no. 268, illustrated p. 307

Nota del catálogo

René Magritte’s Les Fenêtres de l'aube is an enthralling depiction of trompe l'œil handkerchiefs, rendered in the style of a Dutch Renaissance painting, that are inexplicably positioned with a pastoral landscape as seen through a window or depicted in a postcard. Magritte’s idiosyncratic form of Surrealism emerged in the middle of the 1920s, following a short flirtation with Cubist and Futurist art. Unlike the Surrealist techniques espoused by Breton and his followers that were primarily concerned with elucidating dream-like imagery and manifesting the sub-conscious, Magritte relied on the principles of collage, combining concrete objects in senseless compositions to pictorially represent his doubts about the nature of existence.

Marcel Lecomte, a Belgian poet active within the Dada and Surrealist groups and a lifelong friend of Magritte’s, astutely described the painter’s compositional technique in a text written in 1961: ‘The objects and figures… were never meant to exist collectively. They are always very strongly singled out, so that we feel their presence in a very concrete way … What event are they waiting for, unless it is that of the mystery of their meeting on the same canvas, the mystery of their close, combined identity?’ (quoted in Sarah Whitfield, Magritte (exhibition catalogue), The South Bank Centre, London, 1992, p. 37). In the present work, the objects and landscape possess an enigmatic autonomy as they are suspended in space. An acute tension is created between the flat plane of the dark canvas and the deep space of the landscape and the apparent three-dimensionality of the handkerchiefs, emphasising the mystery that Magritte expertly conjures in his works.

In 1920 Magritte was introduced to Edouard-Léon-Théodore Mesens by their mutual acquaintance, the Belgian artist Karel Maes at the first exhibition of the artist’s Cubo-Futurist work organised by the Centre d’Art in Brussels. Mesens was a man of numerous talents and occupations – a musician, poet, critic and gallerist – who was to become Magritte’s most vociferous supporter and promoter. In the mid-1920s Mesens and Magritte published the short-lived reviews Oesophage and Marie and contributed to the last edition of Francis Picabia’s Dadaist review 391. Having partly abandoned his musical career Mesens set about selling and promoting avant-garde art, first at the Galerie Manteau, and later at Paul-Gustave van Hecke’s Galerie L’Époque in Brussels. Mesens and Van Hecke became the principal dealers in Magritte’s work, and as such they sold the present composition to the Galerie Le Centaure in 1929. Soon after the sale the Galerie Le Centaure was forced to close and the stock liquidated and Mesens was able to buy a number of paintings, including the present work. 

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