Rene Magritte (1898 - 1967): The Liberator, 1947, oil on

Rene Magritte (1898 - 1967): The Liberator, 1947, oil on

1/12/2021, 1:59:06 PM
Rene Magritte (1898 - 1967): The Liberator, 1947, oil on canvas, 99.1 x 78.7 cm, Private Collection . . During his career, Magritte became increasingly adept at converting his vision of the mysteries of the world into pictures that, through their iconic simplicity, conveyed their messages all the more strikingly. The "liberator” embodies the whole system of his values. It portrays a seated Magrittean figure, a traveler with a straw hat but no head, holding a jeweled bauble, perhapsa candleholder in the shape of a woman's face. It is a mystery what this object symbolizes. Regardless of what the object symbolizes, it is interesting how Magritte puts such an object into the painting. It is always the individuals the audience will pay attention to when looking at a portrait. However, in the case of the “liberator”, it is the object that becomes the focus. It is the object, a lifeless thing that seems to be alive in this painting. With the light source on the right side of the painting, chiaroscuro is applied to show the relationship between the headless traveler and other objects in the painting. Under the headless traveler’s cloth is a picture with silhouettes of a goblet, a key, a dove, and a pipe. The painting as a whole is asymmetric with the headless traveler holding a cane, and is balanced by the suitcase by his feet. Magritte uses several symbols in his painting to present individuals' repressed feelings—symbols that relate the real world to people’s inner world. The artist shows here people’s anxiety of having to show their faces. The traveler, or rather, the liberator, presents people’s hidden anxiety. He, without a face, is completely set free: no one will ever identify him or read his emotions.

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