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René Magritte

Belgian, 1898–1967

© 2012 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

La Voix des airs (The Voice of Space), 1928

Oil on canvas
25 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches (64.8 x 49.5 cm)
Albert H. Tracy Fund, by exchange, and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 1976

The setting of this painting may reflect the region of Belgium where René Magritte grew up. In the Black Country, as this area was called, slopes of iron slag dotted the landscape and the sky was often gray. The floating forms in this work were inspired by the bells hung on horses’ collars, the sound of which Magritte remembered reverberating through the night air over great distances. Additionally, the slits in the spheres, which reveal an interior space that may or may not contain something, reflect Magritte’s obsession with concealment, the hidden, and the mystery of human experience, which, for him, could not be fully explained. 

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