René Magritte
The Future of Statues 1937

Artwork details

René Magritte 1898–1967
The Future of Statues
L'Avenir des statues
Date 1937
Medium Oil paint on plaster
Dimensions Object: 330 x 165 x 203 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1981
Not on display

Display caption

This work is made from a commercial plaster reproduction of the death mask of the French Emperor Napoleon. Magritte painted at least five of these casts, each with sky and clouds. Discussing the works, the artist’s friend the Surrealist poet Paul Nougé suggested an association between death, dreams and the depth of the sky. He commented: ‘a patch of sky traversed by clouds and dreams [can] transfigure the very face of death in a totally unexpected way’.

December 2005

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