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La durée poignardée (Time Transfixed)

Surrealist painting of miniature train exiting fireplace mid-air, large mirror over mantle.
© 2018 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • Surrealist painting of miniature train exiting fireplace mid-air, large mirror over mantle.

Date:

1938

Artist:

René Magritte
Belgian, 1898–1967

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.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Modern Art

Artist

René Magritte

Title

La durée poignardée (Time Transfixed)

Place

Belgium (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1938

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed, l.r.: "Magritte"

Dimensions

147 × 98.7 cm (57 7/8 × 38 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Joseph Winterbotham Collection

Reference Number

1970.426

Copyright

© 2018 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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