The mind loves the unknown – René Magritte

Paris is a city that expounds the very idea of beauty and culture and the Pompi offers this up to us on a plate daily. If you are ever struggling for something to do in Paris – just head into the Marais district and wander into this fabulous building, MLP guarantees there will be something on show that will challenge your thinking in some way.

So Magritte is the headline act right now, and although I love art, I wasn’t particularly familiar with his work. But in my constant quest for inspiration, a free evening in Paris allowed me the opportunity to go and discover his creativity.

That very night there was a friend visiting from London which was wonderful as it was her first time visiting the Pompi! Having only seen pictures, she couldn’t wait.

The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.

During our tour of the many galleries devoted to Magritte’s work, she turned to me and said “there is so much sadness in some of these paintings, it looks like something happened in his childhood!” I was astonished when we turned the corner to find a summary on one particular work of art, explaining how his mother had tragically drowned when he was only 14 years old! ZutShe was spot on! His work truly conveyed his emotions so vividly that at times, it was epic storytelling

This expo was exceptionally thought-provoking and took us on a journey through René Magritte’s life, as an up and coming artist, painter, commercial graphic designer, rebel, radical and surrealist.

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With his creativity taking many forms, it was so wonderful to see this powerful collection. There were moments I literally felt lifted by his skilful artistry and bereft at times too.

But hey, art is subjective – it’s up to you to decide whether you should go or not. As a plus, gotta add, that the Pompi at night is pretty cool. It closes at 11pm on Thursdays and every Monday! After our exit, we sipped red wine on one of the terraced restos surrounding the square and just took in the beauty, of the Pompidou’s iconic building and the square in its wake. Ahhhhh Paris, sigh! Check out the MLP video of the Pompi.


Here are a few useful facts about Magritte:

  • René Magritte was born on 21st November 1898 in Belgium.
  • He started to have drawing lessons when he was 12.
  • In 1912, Magritte’s mother drowned in the River Sambre.
  • René Magritte studied at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
  • Magritte married Georgette Berger in 1923. Magritte couldn’t afford to paint full-time so he designed posters.
  • In 1926, Magritte received a contract from the Galerie le Centaure allowing him to become a full-time artist.
  • Magritte’s first surreal painting was The Lost Jockey, completed in 1926.
  • In 1927, Magritte moved to Paris and became a key member of the Surrealism movement. He was good friends with the artist, Andre Breton, and he knew Joan Miroand Salvador Dali.
  • In 1929 the Galerie le Centaure closed, to earn  money, he started an advertising agency with his brother.
  • During World War 2, René Magritte started to paint more upbeat works and dismissed his previous work as being too pessimistic.
  • In the 1940s Magritte supplemented his income by forging work by famous artists such as Picasso, and then selling the fake works of art. He also experimented with forging banknotes.
  • Magritte died on 15th August 1967. He was 68 years old and had pancreatic cancer.
  • Magritte’s work  became popular in the 1960s. His paintings inspired artists such as: Andy Warhol, Duane Michals and Jasper Johns.
  • His work often contains everyday objects (such as bowler hats, apples and pipes) in odd and unusual settings. His paintings often include the image of blue cloudy skies.
  • In 2009 the Magritte Museum opened in Brussels, displaying more than 200 of Magritte’s paintings, including The Empire of Light series and The Return.
  • His most famous works include, The Son of Man, Golconde and The Mysteries of the Horizon.

Enjoy the culture in the city and be inspired! Discover what to do this Autum with our top 50 posts and MLP will continue to bring you more insight and ideas. For more information about the Pompidou check out our timeless post about the venue. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow MLP too.

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René Magritte at the Pompidou in Paris until January 23, 2017