About this artwork
One of Surrealism’s most important patrons, Edward James was a willing collaborator whose sense of play initiated commissions for his homes from such artists as René Magritte and Salvador Dalí, including the latter’s iconic lobster telephone and Mae West lips sofa. James was impressed with Magritte’s work in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London and invited the artist to paint three canvases for his London home. Magritte made On the Threshold of Liberty during his stay there in 1937, reworking the motif of a cannon aimed at a female torso from an earlier horizontal painting of the same title (now in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam) into a vertical format in order to meet the specifications of the work’s destined site in James’s ballroom.
- René Magritte
- On the Threshold of Liberty
- Oil on canvas
- 94 × 73 in. (238.8 × 185.4 cm)
- Gift of Mary and Leigh Block
- © 2018 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York