La Mort des Fantômes

René Magritte Belgian

Not on view

The great Surrealist painter of philosophical conundrums was also a prolific photographer who sometimes used his snapshots as studies for paintings. Magritte often acted as "director" in these whimsical or sinister scenes, handing the camera to someone else so he could appear in the image. The mysterious figure seen here looming over a recumbent woman is Magritte, and he used this cloaked "self-portrait" as the basis for a painting of the same year entitled Apparition. The title may also refer to Louise Feuillade’s great silent crime film serial of 1913–14 Fantômas, which inspired several other key works by Magritte during this period.

La Mort des Fantômes, René Magritte (Belgian, Lessines 1898–1967 Brussels), Gelatin silver print

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