Le secret du cortège (The Secret of Courtship)

René Magritte

Lessines, Belgium, 1898 - Anderlecht, Belgium, 1967
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    73,5 x 100,5 cm
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René Magritte disliked explanations that attempted to clarify the content of his pictures, always preferring to maintain the mystery surrounding them, insisting that it was simply the expression of personal fictions or neuroses. Perhaps this is why the meaning of paintings like Le Secret du cortège (The Secret of Courtship) is so inscrutable. Maybe this enigmatic painting echoes certain interests and experiences the painter had, such as fondness for film, which he was to pay homage to in his painting Cinema Blue (1925), or his love of the adventures of Fantômas, the fictional character who was followed with such pleasure by artists of the time, including Juan Gris, who dedicated a painting to him in 1915. On another level, an underlying element in the painting might be the memory of the personal tragedy that befell Magritte with the dramatic death of his mother, who threw herself into the River Sambre in 1912, and was found drowned, with a white cloth over her face. Whatever the case, it is significant that the picture coincides with the artist’s move to Paris and his participation in the French Surrealist movement, alongside André Breton, Salvador Dalí and Paul Éluard.

Paloma Esteban Leal