The Eternally Obvious

René Magritte Belgian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 901

This work is a variant of a prototype made nearly twenty years earlier, now in the Menil Collection, Houston. Both were created in the same manner: Magritte first painted a nude portrait of his wife, which he then cut into segments, framed, and (in some cases) reassembled onto glass. These works exist between painting and sculpture, and the artist referred to them as both "objets" (objects) and "toiles découpés" (cut-up paintings). By dividing the body into five self-contained sections, Magritte paid tribute to and challenged the traditional female nude. Typically Surrealist, The Eternally Obvious plays with perception, asking the viewer to reconstruct mentally a whole body from discreet parts.

#1816. The Eternally Obvious

The Eternally Obvious, René Magritte (Belgian, Lessines 1898–1967 Brussels), Oil on canvas mounted on board

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