Magritte, Rene, Le tombeau des lutteurs (The tomb of the wrestlers)
Signed Rene Magritte, Lithograph, Le tombeau des lutteurs (The tomb of the wrestlers)
|Artist:||Magritte, Rene (1898 - 1967)|
|Title:||Le tombeau des lutteurs (The tomb of the wrestlers)|
Original Color Lithograph
|Image Size:||19 1/2 in x 15 in (49.5 cm x 38.1 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||23 3/5 in x 15 7/10 in (60 cm x 40 cm)|
|Framed Size:||32 1/4 in x 28 in (81.9 cm x 71.1 cm)|
|Signed:||Facsimile signed 'Magritte' in graphite color in the lower right margin, and also initialed in pencil by Charley Herscovici, President of the Fondation Magritte and of the ADAGP.|
|Edition:||Numbered 204/275 in pencil in the lower left margin; aside from 45 artist's proofs labeled EA (épreuve d'artiste) and numbered 1-45, of which 15 are reserved for the Succession Magritte; published and printed by Philippe Moreno, Paris.|
|Condition:||This work is in excellent condition with vibrant colors throughout.|
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Known more for the philosophical motivations behind his works than the politics, in this particular piece Magritte portrays a gorgeous scene in which the beautiful rose seems to overtake the room and capture the viewers complete attention to the point where the details of the room and the snowy landscape outside are overlooked.
The inspiration for the work originated from a conversation Magritte had with Harry Torczyner, a New York lawyer and poet, in 1960 surrounding the Soviet Union's 'tachiste' painters. Tachisim is a French style of abstract painting that is similar to surrealism, but a style that Magritte was not comfortable with. He said to Torczyner, "They paint white on white, and they believe that this is an achievement" (Whitfield, 1992).
In response to Magritte's dismissal, Torczyner challenged him to paint, "a white rose, in a white room with a window looking on to a landscape covered with snow" (Whitfield, 1992). The work you see before you is what Magritte produced, with as minimal white as possible. So why did Magritte choose to alter the challenge? Well painting the rose a 'revolutionary' red instead of white was his idea of recognizing Torczyner's trip to the Soviet Union, and the Red October that allowed for the Bolsheviks to govern Russia, and were then, in the 1960's, altering course after the death of Stalin. Thereby making this work a rather telling portrait of Magritte's sentiments at the time.
Created after the original 1960 oil painting Le tombeau des lutteurs (The tomb of the wrestlers), this original color lithograph is facsimile signed 'Magritte' in graphite color at the lower right; the work bears the blindstamp of the ADAGP in the lower left corner and the blindstamp of the Magritte Succession in the lower right. Numbered 204/275, aside from 45 artist's proofs numbered 1-45 and labeled 'EA', this print is also initialed by Charley Herscovici, President of the Fondation Magritte and ADAGP. This limited edition was published by Philippe Moreno, Paris, and the piece bears a block of printed text on the verso describing this edition.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. Whitfield, Sarah. Magritte. London: The South Bank Center, 1992. The original oil painting is illustrated and discussed as no. 119.
2. Meuris, Jacques. Magritte. London: Greenwich Editions, 1988. The original oil painting is listed as no. 238 and is illustrated on pg. 161 with a discussion on pg. 160.
3. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.
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Biography of Rene Magritte
René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist whose witty and thought-provoking images challenged observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. Magritte's work frequently displays a juxtaposition of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things.
Magritte grew up in a simple and somewhat tragic household. His father was a modest tailor. His mother, who was mentally unsound, committed suicide in the year 1912. Magritte started drawing at a young age, and his first paintings, produced c. 1915, were Impressionistic in style.
Magritte first worked as a draughtsman in a wallpaper factory and, in the year 1922, fell in love with and married Georgette Berger. In 1926, Magritte signed a contract with Galerie La Centaure in Brussels, making it possible for him to paint full-time. During this time, inspired by his friend André Breton, he became involved with the Surrealist group.
During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II, he stayed in Brussels. He continued to paint, gaining increased recognition. His work was exhibited in the United States in New York multiple times, including 2 retrospective exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1967, Magritte died of pancreatic cancer, his imagery having greatly influenced pop, minimalist, and conceptual art.