The Museum presents a chronological and themed trail of Magritte's work, which begins on the top floor with the artist's constructivist period and his contacts with the '7 Arts' group, followed by his discovery of de Chirico and the first surrealist works. Themed showcases form part of the tour, displaying the wealth of surrealist archives kept at the Museum: from the so-called historic magazines to the tracts and correspondence of Magritte, these archives highlight the artist's fellow travellers: E.L.T. Mesens, Paul Nougé, Camille Goemans and Louis Scutenaire, and the French surrealists during their stay in Paris: André Breton, Paul Eluard and Louis Aragon.
1930 • 1950
The next floor looks at the artist's return to Brussels. Hit by the economic crisis of the thirties, Magritte devoted himself to what he called his 'idiotic works', in other words, his work in advertising, which was crucial to his grasp of the concept of image and its repetition.
This period was also marked by his closer links with the Communist Party of Belgium. Put in the dock by the Nazis, Magritte lay low during the Second World War, when he embarked on 'full sunlight' surrealism, an impressionist version of his painting. On Liberation, he re-established his links with Paris, in an ambiguous way, by exhibiting the so-called 'vache' period series.
1951 • 1967
Finally, the last part of the Museum is entitled The enchanted Domain and is dedicated to Magritte's research into repetition and to the large Magrittian images focused around The Dominion of Light and The Domain of Arnheim. The key works of the large collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are accompanied by loans kindly provided by private collectors.
The tour ends in a cinema, which shows films dedicated to the artist as well as some films that Magritte himself liked to watch with his friends and that inspired him in his work on the subversion of images.
The trail is lined with screens dedicated to René Magritte's fellow travellers. The Museum also has new technology thanks to the important contribution of the skills patronage of GDF SUEZ.