The Six Elements
René Magritte, Belgian, 1898 - 1967
Oil on canvasDimensions:
28 3/4 x 39 5/16 inches (73 x 99.8 cm)Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, ParisCuratorial Department:
Modern ArtObject Location:
Currently not on viewAccession Number:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950
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Magritte's title calls to mind the basic elements of the universe---air, water, fire, and earth---although the connection between these and the images in the painting remains mysterious. Painted at the end of a three-year stay in Paris, during which Magritte became a full-fledged Surrealist, The Six Elements
exemplifies the artist's ability to lure viewers into questioning the relationship between language and image, the rational and the irrational.
André Breton (1896-1966), Paris; sold to Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, Los Angeles, through Marcel Duchamp as agent, 1937 ; gift to PMA, 1950.
1. See Duchamp's provenance notes date September 8, 1951 (PMA, Arensberg Archives).