|Courtesy of www.ReneMagritte.org|
Surrealism would not be possible without work in psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud, in particular his interpretations of dreams. Through his readings of dream imagery, he opened
the door for visual artists to exploit the ambiguity of an object, exploring associations and implications, through irrational juxtapositions, rather than the literal meaning of the thing itself.
Rene Magritte, in his 1928 painting L'invention de la vie (The Invention of Life), gives visual form to the notions of life and death. Using two female figures set in a somber landscape, one shrouded in gray fabric as the other eerily stares out at the viewer, Magritte evokes the very fragility of human life. As it has been noted that the female figure resembles the artist's mother, who committed suicide when Magritte was a boy, this work may conjure Magritte's own struggles with the death of his mother.