Rene Magritte versus Leopold, Duke of Brabant.

Por admin, 21 Noviembre, 2022

René Magritte is one of the best Belgian painters, closely related to the 16th century surrealism of Brueghel and El Bosco. If there is something that characterizes Magritte it is the surrealistic world that he shows in his paintings. Oneiric images that come from the depths of the unconscious. But where do these images come from? The unconscious recreates and transforms them, but they come from the real world. They are images observed by our eyes and treasured as memories in the deepest part of our mind. These archetypes shape our view of the world or the way an artist represents the world in his paintings.

Magritte gave the surrealist movement a conceptual charge based on the play of images, questioning the relationship between a painted object and a real one.

What I am going to tell you is an intuitive discovery of the remote images that were in Magritte's unconscious and that were later recreated in his paintings. Magritte was born on November 21, 1898, in Lessines, Belgium and died August 15, 1967, in Brussels. He was the eldest son of Léopold Magritte, a tailor and cloth merchant, and Regina Bertinchamps. On March 12, 1912, his mother committed suicide by drowning in the Sambre River. This must surely have marked her life at the age of 14. Some critics claim that this is the origin of a series of paintings from 1927 to 1928, one of the best known being Les Amants. A couple with their faces covered like a shroud.

In January 1869 Leopold, Duke of Brabant, the only son of the King of Belgium, died at the age of 9. He was the Crown Prince. It was a drama for the Belgian royal house. The boy died of pneumonia after falling into a pond in the park. King Leopold II held his wife responsible for it. This caused the royal couple to drift apart. Queen Maria-Henriette died in Spa in 1902. She had a very tragic life, her Austrian family suffered a lot of misfortunes and all this affected her psychically. The sister of King Leopold II, Charlotte, Empress of Mexico, had mental problems from 1865 until her death in 1927, victim of pneumonia

The thesis of this writing is that Magritte identified himself subconsciously with the royal family and its drama. As a child he almost certainly saw images of the kings and their family. Magritte's alter ego is the man in the English suit and hat, just like the image of Leopold. Magritte's dead mother was depicted in Queen Marie-Henriette, riding a horse in a deconstructed forest. These visions are part of the artist's dream world. The big difference is that Magritte had a happy life. All this has a Freudian explanation: Magritte's Oedipus complex internalized after the death of his mother. And it also has a Jungian perspective: identification with the collective unconscious of the newly created Belgian state.





I have yet to explain how I came to these conclusions. We're talking about the unconscious world, where rational logic doesn't work. On the way to work I saw in a special moment, when the sun was rising, an image that reminded me a painting of Magritte: The Empire of Light.



The next day I took a picture, but it was not the same moment. This was the starting point to find by chance in Pêle-mêle a second-hand bookstore in Brussels, a book about Leopold II illustrated. The following associations came from this ancient picture of this book.

Bruxelles 04/02/2019                                                                                        

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