About this artwork
René Magritte painted Time Transfixed at a moment when he was attempting to elicit “poetic secrets” through his works. With both philosophy and psychology in mind, the artist challenged himself to juxtapose two images in such a way that they would suggest in the viewer’s mind a third un-pictured thing. Here he connected two highly disparate objects—a train and a fireplace—in a composition that became one of his most iconic works. Although the fireplace is domestic and the train is industrial, they are linked by the smoke. Magritte understood that viewers would connect the locomotive’s billowing exhaust with the plumes of smoke that travel up chimneys, uncovering the painting’s poetic secret.
- René Magritte
- La durée poignardée (Time Transfixed)
- Belgium (Artist's nationality:)
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, l.r.: "Magritte"
- 147 × 98.7 cm (57 7/8 × 38 7/8 in.)
- Joseph Winterbotham Collection
- © 2018 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York