The Empire of Light

The Empire of Light (Cycle)
French: L'Empire des lumières
The Empire of Light Belgium.jpg
The Empire of Light (1954), Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels
ArtistRené Magritte
Yearcirca 1939 - 1967
MediumOil on canvas and gouache on paper
MovementSurrealism
LocationMuseum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museum of Modern Art, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, The Menil Collection, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Magritte Museum, and various private collections

The Empire of Light (French: L'Empire des lumières) is the title of a succession of paintings by René Magritte.[1] They depict the paradoxical image of a nocturnal landscape beneath a sunlit sky.[2] He explored the theme in 27 paintings (17 oil paintings and 10 gouaches) from the 1940s to the 1960s.[3][4] The paintings were not planned as a formal series. They have never all been exhibited together and are rarely exhibited smaller groups.[1][4] The original French title, L'Empire des Lumieres is sometimes translated as singular, The Empire of Light,[5]:60 p.[6]:184 p.and sometimes as plural The Empire of Lights.[7]:126 p.[8]:177 p. Other translations include The Dominion of Light: making the distinction: "an empire exists in relation to a ruler, a dominion does not necessarily require this.”[4]

  1. ^ a b Kantrowitz, Jonathan (November 25, 2017), René Magritte: The Fifth Season. Art History News. (accessed December 19, 2020)
  2. ^ "The Empire of Lights also known as L'Empire des Lumieres". Aaron Art Prints. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  3. ^ Peyser, Marijke. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam: A dream collection - Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (accessed December 19, 2020)
  4. ^ a b c Zivkovic, Alex (2018), "It’s Like Being in the Picture”: The Dominion of Light at SFMOMA. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (accessed December 19, 2020)
  5. ^ Noël, Bernard (1977), Magritte. Crown Publishers, Inc. New York. 96 pp. ISBN 0-517-53009-0
  6. ^ Rubin, William S. (1968) Dada and Surrealist Art. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York. 525 pp.
  7. ^ Hammacher, A. M. (1973) Magritte. The Library of Great Painters. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, 167 pp. ISBN 0-8109-0278-8
  8. ^ Torczyner, Harry (1977) Magritte: Ideas and Images. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, 277 pp. ISBN 0-8109-1300-3