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.
Inscription: [see verso image]
René Magritte; Mme. Magritte
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Counterparts: Form and Emotion in Photographs," February 26, 1982–May 1, 1982.
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. "Counterparts: Form and Emotion in Photographs," May 20, 1982–July 2, 1982.
Dallas Museum of Art. "Counterparts: Form and Emotion in Photographs," August 4, 1982–September 13, 1982.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Counterparts: Form and Emotion in Photographs," November 19, 1982–January 9, 1983.
Corcoran Gallery of Art. "Counterparts: Form and Emotion in Photographs," February 22, 1983–April 18, 1983.
New Mexico Museum of Art. "In Camera," November 6, 1993–February 14, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographs. "Grand Illusions: Staged Photography from the Collection," August 10, 2015–November 15, 2015.
Becker, Wolfgang, and Louis Scutenaire. Die Truglosen Bilder: René Magritte: Bioskop und Photographie. Cologne: Buchhandlung Walther Konig, 1976. p. 6.
Roche, Denis. Autoportraits Photographiques: 1898–1981. Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1981. p. 17.