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Evening dress

René Magritte • Painting, 1954
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Nude
Style of art: Surrealism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1954
Content 18+
Artwork in selections: 89 selections

Description of the artwork «Evening dress»

"Evening Dress" Is one of the most poetic works of Rene Magritte. A naked girl with long flowing hair, an endless surface of water, a young moon in the night sky - the Belgian artist does not have so many paintings with such a romantic plot. And the name matches it: “There is no better dress for the evening for a beautiful woman than complete nudity,” as if the artist declares.

If in the overwhelming majority of his works he seeks to surprise the viewer, create a paradoxical image or even confuse the lack of a visible connection between the image and the title of the work, then in the case of "Evening Dress" everything is quite transparent. Magritte creates a dreamy atmosphere that encourages you to immerse yourself in the moments of the past: either recall the midnight bathing in a dress of moonlight at the dawn of youth, or recall visions of first love from memory.

In 1954 - 56, the artist created several paintings with a similar composition: with a certain figure in the center and a young moon located strictly above it. On the canvas "Teacher"(1954) under the night sky, a man in a bowler hat is also standing with his back to the viewer - the most famous character of Magritte. At work "September sixteenth"(1956) the month is hidden in the crown of a tree, and the painting"A masterpiece, or the secrets of the horizon”(1955) violates the symmetrical pattern of this series: it depicts a man in a bowler hat three times - from the back, in profile and in a quarter of a turn, with a crescent moon above each version.

In a letter to his friend, the Belgian surrealist poet Paul Colin, Magritte recalls the circumstances in which this midnight composition came to his mind. He writes about this in the context of thinking about the nature of genius, arguing that it is not about creating brilliant ideas, but about being able to recognize them. “For example, I had an idea, the magnificence of which neither I nor you realized, when a year or two ago, I noticed that the moon in certain positions is exactly above a chimney or a tree,” wrote Magritte. - Then we thought it was "funny", "amazing", but uninteresting. Thanks to the new paintings Heavenly Girls, Evening Dress, Teacher and Masterpiece, we can now show genius if we realize that the fun idea is really great. "

It is not a fact that the attractiveness of the painting "Night Dress" lies precisely in the exact position of the moon over the girl's head, but it certainly attracts the eye for a long time.

The author: Natalia Azarenko