Situated on three floors, Magritte's paintings are supplemented by cartoons, sculptures, photos, and critical comment in reviews etc. Most of his famous work is on the last floor, the motifs he worked on repeatedly (pigeons transforming into mountain massifs, bowler-hatted men, the 'empire of lights' series, bottles becoming carrots etc.).
There is an excellent film about Magritte's life, his student days, curators who have bought the houses he lived in in Jette and Uccle and can judge how he lived, people who followed his career in the US.
A bourgeois who married early and settled down and expressed his rebellion in artistic ideas. Rather a placid man, none of the fire or mischief you find in Picasso's work, but technically able to paint, and who worked out shade and form to great effect. Would be interested to hear what a psychoanalyst thought of his austere balls with slits as representations of women.
Free on the first Wednesday of each month.
I have always enjoyed Magritte's quirky take on art. The Magritte museum celebrates his life and work, with a great deal of information on him.....but it could use a few more pieces. It would also have been nice to be able to take a photo or two of some of his pieces I was not familiar with. You can get throught the three floors comfortably within two hours.
The excellent Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts of Belgium (ref. here my tips) opened on June 2nd, 2009 the “Musée Magritte Museum” located in a five level mansion at the Place Royale; that is very close to the main Royal Museums of Fine Arts.
There are about 200 works displayed on 2500 m². These works come from the existing collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, bequests of Hamoir Scutenaire and Georgette Magritte as well as gifts and loans. The presentation is chronological: 1898 -1929 on the upper floor, then 1930-1950 to end with 1951 - 1967.
I like to call Magritte the "Emperor of Surrealism" with reference to his most popular works "Empires des Lumières". He was born in Lessines in 1898 and died in Brussels in 1967.
The photo here shows the décor by Warburg of the museum on the Place Royale during the works. The painting is one of the "Empires des Lumières".
NOTE: THE MUSEUM HAS A LOT OF SUCCESS: 1.000.000 VISITORS IN TWO YEARS!
60% FOREIGNERS. THERE ARE QUEUES SO THAT IT IS ADVISABLE TO BOOK ONLINE AND RESERVE YOUR DAY AND HOUR.
Access for individual visitors :
Rue de la Régence 3 – 1000 Brussels
For groups: Place Royale – 1000 Brussels
Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 to 17 h. On Wednesday until 20 h.
Closed on Monday, January 1st, the second Thursday of January, May 1st, November 1st and 11th, December 25th
8 € adults
5 € discount for seniors, adult groups min. 15 pers.
2 € discount for students (18- 25 year), school groups min. 12 persons.
0 € Friends of the Museums, disabled and companion, unemployed, children under 18 years (accompanied by an adult)
Phone: 32 (0)2 508 33 33
Next door to the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts and linked by a connecting escalator and corridor underground is the Magritte Museum dedicated to the work of the surrealist artist René Magritte.
I'm no expert on surrealist art (or any art really) so I don't claim to actually understand a lot of Magritte's work but even I can see the quality of the work and the talent involved in producing it. This made for an enjoyable visit to the museum (which is also well air-conditioned - a great bonus as it was a very hot day outside!).
The museum is closed on Mondays, but open from 10am to 5pm on other days (Weds to 8pm). Photography is not allowed and admission is €8 or €13 for a combined ticket with the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts. Both are free with a Brusselscard.