Mrs. Van Den Broeck, Brussels (acquired from the artist)
Guy Pieters Gallery, Deurle (acquired from the above)
Private Collection, Belgium (acquired from the above)
The obscuring of identity and the destabilization of the known world were constant themes in Magritte's art. The masked apples depicted in the present work from 1955, La Valse hésitation, first appeared in a 1950 oil of the same title. Magritte continued to incorporate the motif into several of his compositions over the next two decades with the interchangable title, Le Prêtre Marié. The contradictions inherent in both of these titles was indicative of the tantalizing subtext of the present work. The apples, known as the fruits of carnal knowledge, are seductively anthropomorphized by masks. By masking the apples, Magritte also turns the tables on an object which he often used to mask his own face (see fig. 1).
The first owner of this work was Mrs. Van Den Broeck, the proprietress of "Vincent," which was one of Magritte's favorite restaurants on the rue des Dominicains in Brussels.
Fig. 1, The artist in one of his signature poses with an apple obscuring his face. Photograph by Bijtebier, Brussels
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