The Palace of Memories
: Le palais des souvenirs
) is a painting
in oil on canvas, 46.2 × 38.2 cm, created in 1939 by Belgian surrealist
artist René Magritte
. It is held in a private collection.
In The Palace of Memories
, René Magritte plunges the viewer into a scene of infinite mystery: underneath and beyond a theatre curtain is a vast, rocky landscape of crags stretching into the distance. Looking like a crater filled with lava and dominating that vista is a rock formation that resembles Magritte’s images of chopped trees which would emerge in 1951 in The Work of Alexander. This introduces the theme of petrification that would recur in Magritte’s art, the notion of the transformation between the elements as seen in his 1936 work, Le précurseur, in which a mountain range resembles an eagle. In The Palace of Memories
, the pool of red within the crater adds another dimension to this switch between animal, vegetable and mineral. Meanwhile, against the curtain itself, hovering in the foreground, is a bunch of blue flowers which reminds us of some heraldic motif. This picture was formerly owned by Simon Harcourt-Smith, a diplomat and author whose father, Sir Cecil
, had been the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum
, London, as well as a key advisor to the Royal Collection
. Read more...