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The Empty Mask

MAGRITTE, Rene (1898 - 1967)

The Empty Mask

Date: 1928

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 81.2 x 116.2 cm

Acquired: 1973; Purchase

Accession Number: NMW A 2051

In his essay 'Words and Images', published in 1929, the Belgian Surrealist Magritte observed that each image 'suggests that there are others behind it'. Viewed through a freestanding frame of irregular shape, these images are a sky, a lead curtain festooned with sleigh bells, a house fa?ade, a sheet of paper cut-outs, a forest and a fire. The title evokes the fear of the invisible which pervades the artist's work and reflects the Surrealists' fascination with the subconscious.


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