|Click Image to view detail.|
Certainly Young Girl Eating a Bird is the most gruesome painting Magritte ever did. It's a companion piece to The Murderous Sky (immediately below) depicting four identical bloody dying birds flying in front of a mountain of rocks. Sylvester says Girl Eating Bird was completed weeks after the Threatend Muderer (Menaced Assassin). According to other sources the explanation behind this painting is rather simple: One day Magritte saw his wife eating a chocolate bird, so he decided he would do a painting of a young woman eating a live bird. Evidently he decided not to use an accurate portrait of Georgette because of the graphic nature of the subject material.
David Sylvester suggestes that this painting might be scripted (based) on a poem by Paul Nouge which was written about at the same in 1927 (published in 1956). It's possible that the poem could also be based on the painting.
Poem by Paul Nouge, "The Girl Who Ate Birds": We find her in the
heart of summer, in the shadow of a sturdy tree thronged with
calmed birds unalarmed by her presence. He schoolgirl demeanor
would be excuse enough, and her modesdt dress, her neat hair... It
is then thatone notices the pallor of joy, the eyelids closed over
the cruelty of her dreams, the teeth pressed to the blood-stained
lips, the woman engrossed in her pleasure and savoring, through the
caress of its plummage, a ceature docile to the point of continuing
to live. Since one has to hold one's own, one invents, as an
afterthought, the girl who ate birds."
If the painting is based on Nouge's poem perhaps Magritte wouldn't want this information public. Rene usually avoiding interpreting his paintings preferring to keep his mysteries intact.
MOST POPULAR PAINTINGS
The Son of Man
The Treachery of Images
Empire of Light
The Blank Signature
The Mysteries of Horizon
Not To Be Reproduced
The Lovers II
The Human Condition