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René Magritte: The Artist's Materials

Catherine Defeyt and Francisca Vandepitte, with contributions by David Strivay, Elodie Herens, and Joy Mazurek

The first book-length material study of the works of Belgian Surrealist René Magritte. 
René Magritte (1898–1967) is the most famous Belgian artist of the twentieth century and a celebrated representative of the Surrealist movement. Much has been written about his practices, artistic community, and significance within the history of modernism, but little has been documented regarding his process.
This volume examines fifty oil paintings made by Magritte between 1921 and 1967, now held at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. This technical study of his works using noninvasive scientific imaging and chemical analysis reveals the artist’s painting materials, his habit of overpainting previous compositions, and the origins and mechanisms of surface and pigment degradation. Of interest to conservators, scientists, curators, and enthusiasts of twentieth-century art, this book expands our understanding of Magritte the artist and provides new and useful findings that will inform strategies for the future care of his works. 

Catherine Defeyt is senior researcher at the University of Liège and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. Francisca Vandepitte is senior curator of modern art at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. 

“The authors are careful not to duplicate or rehash the established, extensive existing scholarship on Magritte and synthesize over seventy years of Magritte scholarship across disciplinary lines with admirable concision.”
—Lauren Gottlieb-Miller, ARLIS/NA Reviews

120 pages
7 1/2 x 10 inches
85 color and 30 b/w illustrations, 1 table
ISBN 978-1-60606-800-7

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Conservation Institute
Series: The Artist's Materials