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Awesome Art History Appreciation: Magritte

The Empire of Light is a series of paintings by René Magritte. Painted between 1950 and 1954, The Empire of Light contains three paintings housed at famous museums around the world, in New York one at each MoMA and The Guggenheim, and in Brussels (where I encountered this piece) at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in their fantastic Magritte gallery.

This piece is absolutely more spectacular in real life, though the images available online of his different renditions are still fascinating. The juxtaposition between the daylight skies and the manmade light on earth is fascinating. It is a simple yet superbly strong surrealist gesture.

Art is such a fantastic inspiration for us as lovers of light. That which is not lit cannot be seen, let alone painted, so these renditions of the world are our kin, and studying them can only benefit our work. This is a very theatrical piece, which shows how a tiny schism can create a spectacularly unsettling scene. What do you think of Magritte’s Empire of Light?