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Drifting with Magritte: Castles in the Air


  • Date iconMarch 17 2022 - October 18 2022
  • Curator: Efrat Aharon
  • Designer: Michal Aldor
  • Spertus Gallery

An in-depth look at the Israel Museum’s iconic, beloved, and mystifying Castle of the Pyrenees, 1959, by René Magritte. Like other works by the Belgian Surrealist, The Castle is painted in precise realistic detail while defying reality and the laws of physics. At first it looks like a peaceful, skillfully painted, almost tangible sort of seascape… and then we realize that it is impossible. Why does Magritte’s massive boulder float in mid-air instead of plunging into the water, as it should?

This exhibition unfolds the intriguing story of how the painting came into being as a commission by Magritte’s good friend and patron Harry Torczyner, who later gifted it to the Museum. The evolution of the artist’s important stone motif is explored through related works, some of them never before displayed in Israel. Finally, a contemporary chapter in the show presents pieces by artists who were influenced by Magritte and his Castle, testimony to his enduring visual legacy.