The Discovery of Fire (c. 1934-35) by Rene Magritte

The Discovery of Fire - Rene Magritte - 1935

Artwork Information

TitleThe Discovery of Fire
ArtistRene Magritte
MediumOil on Panel
Dimensions22.8 x 15.5 cm
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
Location Created Brussels, Belgium
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About The Discovery of Fire

Rene Magritte’s “The Discovery of Fire” is a painting from 1935 that depicts a woman holding a burning log with flames coming out of her head. The painting showcases Magritte’s conceptual power as a painter through the flame-like patterns on the wood and the naked body of the woman. He was fascinated with the interactions between textual and visual signs, which can be seen in this work.

Magritte developed his illustrative skills early on from working as a commercial artist, where he designed advertising and literature displays. His biographer, David Sylvester, described his paintings as inducing “the sort of awe felt in an eclipse,” showcasing his ability to evoke emotions through his art.

While “The Discovery of Fire” is not available for sale due to copyright issues, it remains a significant piece in Magritte’s collection. The use of symbolism throughout the painting represents an evolution from one thing to another and invites viewers to interpret it in their own way.

Overall, “The Discovery of Fire” showcases Magritte’s exceptional ability to combine elements to create thought-provoking works that challenge viewers’ perceptions and imaginations.

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