The Embassy of Belgium in China were delighted to celebrate the 125th anniversary of René Magritte, a renowned Belgian surrealist artist who captivated the world with his enigmatic and thought-provoking paintings.
Born to a humble family in Lessines, Belgium, in 1898, his childhood was marked by his mother’s suicide. At the age of 15, he met Georgette Berger, whom he married in 1922. She remained his only model throughout his life.
In 1915, Magritte settled in Brussels and created his first Impressionist works. He studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. After an initial period influenced by Cubism, Magritte turned towards #surrealism. He met a group of Surrealists and later, on returning to Belgium, became the leader of the Belgian Surrealists.
Magritte treated facts with humour and removed their seriousness in a metaphysical and surreal way. Instead of inventing techniques, he preferred to get to the bottom of things. He invites us to question the very fabric of reality through his mesmerizing paintings. His art attempted to show that all we glimpse of truth is its mystery if we remove ourselves from our usual, routine logic.
In Brussels, this year’s Brussels in Bloom theme has a surreal twist in honour of him. Floral designers started the tour with ‘Cecin’est pas une pipe’ (this is not a pipe). Magritte’s artistic genius transcends borders and captivates audiences worldwide. His works speak a universal language that resonates with people from all walks of life. His ability to challenge perceptions and ignite imagination knows no cultural boundaries.
In China, you can also find Magritte’s traces and feel inspired. Delvaux, the world’s oldest fine leather goods house founded in Brussels in 1829, kicked off the anniversary celebration, bridging the real and the fantastical with a special Surrealist-inspired pop-up and an immersive, interactive exhibit in Beijing SKP mall.
The Maison first partnered with the Magritte Foundation in 2019 and dedicated a capsule collection of leather goods to the dreamlike world of the painter. For this special occasion, Delvaux extended its Magritte capsule collection inspired by the twin loves of his life – his wife, Georgette, and his art. The Belgian Embassy was represented by Johan Van Hove, Public Diplomacy Counsellor, at the opening of the pop-up boutique.
At the same time, Delvaux will be the first luxury brand in the world to exhibit seven of Magritte’s iconic works never-before-shown to the public in Hong Kong and Seoul to coincide with the capsule collection’s exclusive launch in Asia.