Mystery of lost Magritte painting is finally solved!

Published on 14.11.2017

A mystery finally solved: the fourth and last part of Magritte's art work "The Enchanted Pose" discovered by ULiège researchers under the painting "God is not a Saint"  at the Magritte Museum!

Brussels, 14 November 2017 - The 4th and final part of “The Enchanted Pose”, a catalogued work from René Magritte that had been lost since 1932, was discovered by researchers from University of Liège under another of the master's paintings at the Magritte Museum in Brussels, “God is not a Saint”. This discovery puts an end to an 80-year enigma and makes it possible to completely (although virtually) restore a very important piece illustrated by the master of Belgian surrealism.

Stemming from a close collaboration between the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (RMFAB) and the European Centre of Archaeometry of the University of Liège, the research project, “Magritte on practice”, consists of the systematic study of the world's most extensive collection of works painted by the artist, that of the Magritte Museum in Brussels, via a whole arsenal of non-invasive physicochemical analysis and scientific imaging.

Beginning in 2016, this major project aims to shed new light on the painted works of René Magritte (1898-1967) through the prism of its materiality. Thanks to the portability of instruments available to the CEA, all examinations and analyses are performed on the premises within a room of the museum made available to scientists.

Beyond an in-depth knowledge of the development process and of the constituent materials of a body of work covering the entirety of the artist's career (42 oil paintings and 21 gouaches done between 1921 and 1963), it is a question of better understanding Magritte the practitioner, of discovering unknown or lost early works, and of resolving the causes of atypical alterations of the pictorial layer that consistently affect the early work of the painter.