Le Bouquet Tout Fait (The ready-made bouquet)René MAGRITTE

1957 | oil on canvas | 163.0×130.5cm

Le Bouquet Tout Fait (The ready-made bouquet)

Commentary on work

It is said that Magritte placed high importance not on paintings themselves but on a creative process where viewers’ imagination and senses are stimulated. This painting depicts a woman in a floral dress heralding the arrival of spring by scattering flowers around a bleak, thickly wooded garden. However, this painting has some elements that reject commonplace interpretations, including the female figure that is an accurate reproduction of Flora, the goddess of flowers in Primavera painted by Botticelli in the 15th century, and a bowler-hatted man in a black suit, a favorite motif of Magritte, which is depicted nearly twice as large as Flora. Unlike Primavera, which depicts a mythological world, the man’s clothes and the handrail in the garden suggest that this painting depicts a real setting. Confusion with awareness of incongruity derived from reference to ready-made images may be the mode of appreciating this painting in line with the painter’s intention. This important work, which Magritte painted at his peak of maturity just before reaching 60 years of age, is counted in a series of works that modify historic masterpieces, including those that replace human figures in paintings by Edouard Manet or Jacques-Louis David with coffins.

Brief biography of artist

René MAGRITTE (1898–1967)

René Magritte was born in Lessines in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. While studying at an art school in Brussels, he came to know contemporary avant-garde art movements, such as Cubism and De Stijl. After starting his career as a graphic designer, he was inspired by works by Giorgio de Chirico and began to create surrealist paintings in 1925. He moved to suburban Paris in 1927, and came to personally know Paul Éluard, André Breton, Joan Miro, and Jean Arp among others. Three years after that, he returned to Brussels, which he made the base of his artistic creation throughout the rest of his life. From 1943, he painted impressionist works (which is known as his “Renoir period”), but returned to his previous style in four years. After World War II, retrospectives of Magritte were held in various cities inside and outside Belgium, including London and Paris. He died at 68 years of age in Brussels in 1967.

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