Magritte Museum is a museum dedicated to the work of a Belgian surreal artist named Rene Magritte and has been listed as one of the constituent museums of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Go to a journey of the life of surreal artist in the Magritte Museum
1. Who is Rene Magritte?
Before going to the Magritte Museum, it is better to know about Rene Magritte first and how did he become so popular. Rene Magritte was born in Hainaut on 21 November 1898. He studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels from 1916 to 1920. During the same time, he also started his investigation into abstraction. After finishing his study, he became a graphic designer at the Peters-Lacroix wallpaper factory located in Haren. This was when he started to make posters and advertisements. In 1924, he created his first surrealist work with the influence of Giorgio de Chirico and Max Ernst. He died on 15 August 1967 because of pancreatic cancer. During his life, he already had some exhibitions in French and United States. He also gave lectures in London and Antwerp.
2. The works of Rene Magritte
In the Magritte Museum, you will be able to see the works of Rene Magritte and see how he changed his style of arts. As a major artist, he was influenced by Belgian, American, and French artists. In 1933, Magritte started to re-think about his work and explore more about the field of object. In the 1940s, he defined his style as 'Surrealism in the Sun' or the 'Vache period'. He had his own style that is later named as Magrittian images during the 1950s to 1960s. At the beginning, his works of word-paintings did not going very well, but he already received numerous attention and interests. He created his first short movies in 1956, though he still actively created paintings. Before his life ended, he was working on sculpture projects that can also be seen inside the museum.
3. The history of Magritte Museum
At first, the works of Magritte were not as much as they are now. However, the exhibition on the works has become a highlight since 1984 as decided by the chief curator of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Phillipe Roberts-Jones. Since then, the collections were developping and started to fill a lot of parts in the museum. The idea to build a Magritte Museum began in 2005 after a mediation from Charly Herscovici, president of the Magritte Foundation and heads of the Franco-Belgian group ENGIE. The building that is used until now is an old building that was restored in 1984. The building was then renovated and designed as the Magritte Museum on 27 May 2008. The Magritte Museum was then opened to public for the first time on 2 June 2009. At the beginning, the Magritte Museum was not able to collect so many works of Magritte. Some collections in the museum are donations from people who enjoyed Magritte's work.
4. Exploring the life of Rene Magritte
Even though Magritte Museum is dedicated to Rene Magritte, but inside you will also see the people who influenced him during his life. On the third level that is the first level you will visit, there were archives about fellow travelers and other surreal artists that were known by Magritte, including Paul Nougé, Camille Goemans, André Breton, and Louis Aragon. On the lower level, you will see his collection during the economic crisis when he worked in advertising. In this level you can also see his works from his Vache period in 1940s. While in the lowest level entitled 'The Enchanted Domain', you will see the great Magrittean images focused around The Dominion of Light and The Domain of Arnheim that is considered as his most successful works. In the last part of the museum, you will come to a cinema that shows films dedicated to Magritte, along with his favorite movies.
5. Don't forget to visit the library
In the library, you will find literature collections that write about Magritte's contributions to art. Here, you will also able to see the catalogue of the Magritte Museum and the Rene Magritte Museum that is located in his former house. There is an archive about articles about Magritte as well. If you are a fan of him and his works, then the library is definitely something you cannot miss as this will tell you more about the artist.
6. Visit the Rene Magritte Museum as well
Along with the Magritte Museum, there is also the Rene Magritte Museum that is located in the former house of the artist. Here, you will also find biographical exhibition of Rene Magritte. Rene Magritte Museum also held some temporary exhibitions, and if you are interested, then you can assign yourself to be a volunteer of the museum. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM except on Christmas and New Year. You can also contact the museum in advance if you want to come in a large group.
How to Get Tickets?
You can get the ticket to the Magritte Museum on the spot or by booking online. If you are coming in a large group, then it is better to book in advance. The museum provides group reservation at least 5 weeks in advance, where you will also have to book for a guide.
How To Get Around?
When you first arrived at the museum, you will be taken to the elevator that will take you to the third floor. Inside, you can walk around to enjoy the collection.
What Should I Wear?
There is no specific dress code for visiting the Magritte Museum. If you want to take some photos with the collections, then you might consider to wear matching clothes.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit the Magritte Museum is early in the morning so that the museum will not be so crowded with visitors.
Will I Need a Guide?
You can go and explore the museum without a guide. But, if you want to get better explanations, then you can get an audioguide or visioguide for hearing impaired with an extra charge. For visitors in large group, you can book for a guided tour.
How To Get There?
There are several options available to get to the Magritte Museum. You can go by bus number 27, 38, 71, 95, 29, 63, 65, or 66, or you can go by tram number 92 or 93, or you can also go with metro to Bruxelles-Central.