Modern and Contemporary Art
The Six Elements
René Magritte, Belgian, 1898 - 1967
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
1950-134-127The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950
LabelMagritte's title calls to mind the basic elements of the universe---air, water, fire, and earth---although the connection between these and the images in the painting remains mysterious. Painted at the end of a three-year stay in Paris, during which Magritte became a full-fledged Surrealist, The Six Elements exemplifies the artist's ability to lure viewers into questioning the relationship between language and image, the rational and the irrational.