Lot 3
  • 3

René Magritte

1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
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  • René Magritte
  • Les Jeunes amours
  • Signed Magritte (upper right); signed Magritte and titled Les jeunes amours on the reverse
  • Oil on canvas
  • 13 by 16 1/8 in.
  • 33 by 41 cm


Galerie Isy Brachot, Brussels (acquired by 1968)

Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above in 1979 and sold: Sotheby's, London, June 21, 2004, lot 57)

Acquired at the above sale 


Brussels, Galerie Isy Brachot, Dix maîtres contemporains, 1968, no. 44

Knokke, Galerie Isy Brachot, Magritte, 1971, no. 7

Brussels, Galerie Isy Brachot, Delvaux, Gnoli, Magritte, 1974, no. 48

Brussels, Galerie Isy Brachot, Magritte 1898-1967, 1979, no. 50

Brussels, Galerie Isy Brachot, Rétrospective Magritte dans les collections privées, 1988, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Madrid, Fundación Juan March, René Magritte, 1989, no. 57, illustrated in color in the catalogue


Letter from Magritte to Bosmans, August 5, 1963, in: Francine Perceval (ed.), Lettres à André Bosmans, 1958-1967, Paris, 1990, p. 309

The Burlington Magazine, London, June 1968, illustrated in the advertisement supplement

David Sylvester (ed.), Sarah Whitfied & Michael Raeburn, René Magritte, Catalogue Raisonné, Oil Paintings, Objects and Bronzes, 1949-1967, London, 1993, vol. III, no. 967, illustrated p. 376

Catalogue Note

The apple is one of the most recognizable and iconic images within Magritte’s oeuvre and appears throughout his work in various contexts: sometimes grotesquely enlarged to fill an entire room, sometimes petrified, or appearing in a portrait, replacing the face of a sitter. This mundane object, often associated with the traditional genre of still-life, is thus transformed into something inexplicable.

With an extraordinary economy of means and clarity of execution that characterized his later work, Magritte created images of mystery and ambiguity, enveloping everyday objects in an enigmatic atmosphere. In the present work, three large apples painted in bold primary shades of red, yellow and blue act as part of a landscape; two of them stand firmly on the ground while the third is suspended in the air. Magritte relies upon the erotic associations of the apple as a symbol of carnal knowledge. The tantalizing appeal of this metaphorical object of desire gives the apples a seductively human aspect, a notion further accentuated by the title of the work.

The subject of one or more monumental apples in a landscape preoccupied Magritte in 1962-63. Apart from the present work, he painted several versions of an enlarged apple made of stone, occupying a bare environment. In a letter to André Bosmans dated August 5, 1963, Magritte wrote: “I have painted a few gouaches for my dealer. I have repainted some old pictures with pleasure as gouaches, particularly the ones with the three apples” (quoted in D. Sylvester (ed.), op. cit., p. 376).