Rene Magritte's segmented women: Studies based on two paintings in the Menil Collection (Belgium)
Marsales, Rita Miller
Camfield, William A.
Master of Arts
Rene Magritte, Surrealist painter, represented women in segmented forms. He enclosed portions of female anatomy in frames and painted representations of broken, sculpted torsos. In this he was inspired by the example of de Chirico's poetic painting, Rodin's use of partial forms to represent whole beings, and by collage concepts involving the dissolution and reconstruction of images. Although Magritte's nudes were undeniably erotic, his ultimate conclusion seems to be that the mystery of woman is beyond the power of art's representation. Framing and fragmentation, as represented in two paintings from the Menil Collection and numerous related works, reinforce the idea that in Magritte's work art and reality were never intended to coincide.