René MagritteThe Future of Statues 1937

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Artwork details

Artist
René Magritte (1898‑1967)
Title
The Future of Statues
L'Avenir des statues
Date 1937
MediumOil paint on plaster
Dimensionsobject: 330 x 165 x 203 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1981
Reference
T03258
Not on display

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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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