Painting “Perspective Madame Recamier” by Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte. Painting Perspective of Madame Recamier, 1951
Rene Magritte, Painting Perspective of Madame Recamier, 1951

Painting Madame Recamier’s Perspective by Rene Magritte a dark remake of the portrait of David

Madame Recamier’s Perspective is a surreal painting by the Belgian artist René François Ghislain Magritte. The work is a remake of the canvas by Jacques-Louis David, in which the French neoclassicist portrayed the mistress of the Parisian salon.

In his work, Magritte reproduces in detail the setting and the plot of the original, but instead of a secular lioness in a snow-white outfit, a boarded-up coffin appears in front of the viewer. Repeating the pose of the heroine, he has a bent shape. As in the portrait of David, women’s clothing falls off the couch. The work of Magritte in allegorical form leads the viewer to thoughts about the frailty of human life. Moreover, not only people die, but also seemingly immortal characters of famous paintings.

Author: Rene Magritte (1898-1967).
Year of writing: 1951.
Size: 60 x 80 cm.
Style: Surrealism.
Genre: Allegory.
Technique: Oil.
Material: Canvas.
Location: National Gallery, Ottawa, Canada.

Rene Magritte is a prominent representative of the surrealist painting of the twentieth century.

His paintings are mysterious, full of hidden meaning. In his works, he used real images, depicted ordinary objects. At the same time, the artist’s work is as absurd and shocking as that of his eccentric colleague in the style of Salvador Dali.

Many canvases by the Belgian master are filled with black humor, the painting “The Perspective of Madame Recamier” is a vivid example of this. Magritte connects incongruous things. So, the coffin shocks with its irrelevance against the background of a white dress and an elegant couch.

Interestingly, the remake of the portrait of David is not the only work where the coffin takes the place of the character. Similarly, the painter parodied the paintings “The Balcony” by Edouard Manet and “Madame Recamier” by Francois Pascal Simon, Baron Gerard.

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