Lot 123
  • 123

René Magritte

Estimate
600,000 - 800,000 USD
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Description

  • René Magritte
  • Le rendez-vous
  • Signed Magritte (lower left); signed Magritte, dated 1948 and titled "Le Rendez-vous" (on the verso)
  • Gouache on paper
  • 14 by 18 in.
  • 35.6 by 45.7 cm

Provenance

Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist in 1948)
Copley Gallery, Beverly Hills
Lila Berman (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 19, 1983, lot 256)
Kurt Delbanco, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Galerie Beyeler, Basel
Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Acquired from the above in 2003

Exhibited

Beverly Hills, Copley Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition, 1948 (probably)

Literature

David Sylvester, ed., René Magritte, Catalogue raisonné, gouaches, temperas, watercolours and papier collés 1918-1967, vol. IV, London, 1994, no. 1282, illustrated p. 115

Catalogue Note

The motif of the leaf bejewelled by birds of paradise, central to Le Rendez-vous, became an important device in Magritte’s oeuvre. Earlier versions of this key image include Le Regard intérieur in which Magritte chose to depict a calm generic landscape and not the turbulent maritime scene which adds such vitality to the present composition. Subsequently he incorporated the surreal delight of the leaf into his celebrated decorative scheme at the Casino Communal de Knokke in Belgium. The stone ledge and crimson curtain act as a repoussoir, reversing the interior and exterior of the work while challenging the viewer’s perception of the real and the represented.

David Sylvester suggests that the gouache Le Rendez-vous was executed by Magritte before he committed the composition to canvas in the final quarter of 1948. Magritte often chose to explore his most prominent themes in gouache. This decision not only facilitated his intricate style of representation but also introduced a brighter tone to his compositions. Siegfried Gohr, discussing the importance of the artist’s gouaches, wrote that "the coloured works on paper reveal the brilliant talent of Magritte the painter. Even though he repeatedly denied his ‘artistry,’ belittling the traditional habitus of the virtuoso artist genius and emphasizing instead the artist’s intellectual work, his gouaches in particular reveal how masterfully he was able to apply his extraordinary gift of visualising his pictorial ideas" (Siegfried Gohr, Magritte: Attempting the Impossible, New York, 2009, pp. 77-78). In comparison to his oil paintings, which often utilized the material's natural inclination to produce depth and atmospheric effects, gouache renders its subject in light-filled hues and crystalline clarity.
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