Le modèle rouge III – Rene Magritte

I consider myself to be amazingly lucky, as when I’m not working, I get to run around all over the world seeing artworks. Right now I am in Rotterdam, and visited the delightful Boijmans art museum. This is really close to Rotterdam central and for anyone who is a keen art lover should visit this place. This takes you on a tour of art through the ages, along with some design and architecture displays.

So, over the next few days I’ll be writing about artwork I’ve seen there. Tonight’s is The red model by Rene Magritte.

Magritte is well known for taking the conventional and perverting it in a seemingly normal way to present an abstract view to his audience.

The museum curator wrote for this piece:-

“Magritte loved to confront the viewer with something incomprehensible yet depicted in a deceptively realistic manner. The fence in this painting looks entirely normal, but the shoes do not. The title usually helps if the image is puzzling, but not here. ‘The Red Model III’ merely raises more questions. A model of what or whom? And red? The feet are pink at most.”

What the curator overlooks is that the soil is red, but I shouldn’t quibble, it’s the curators prerogative to make the riddle harder not easier….I suppose.

Magritte explained painting’s imagery in a 1938 lecture: “The problem of the shoes demonstrates how far the most barbaric things can, through force of habit, come to be considered quite respectable,” adding that thanks to the picture, “people can feel that the union of a human foot with a leather shoe is, in fact, a monstrous custom.”

So, really no great mystery to this piece at all, it just takes the audience to think a little outside of the box.

How does The Red Model make you feel? Personally I hate feet, but I love the imagery conjured in this charmingly effective painting

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