Art is the summation of experiences and the then-now held emotions of what things were like, and how they are now.

I’ve grown recently interested in how some artists orient their pieces in context with their romantic relationships. When the saying ‘life imitates art, art imitates life’ is put into the practice of thought, a lot of history’s art pieces resemble the stories we live and witness day by day. The nature and outcome of what two people share can also be a language that inspires the birth of love, and that is merely a phenomenon that has given the likes of René Magritte a motive to show us what it is like to enter a world of human feelings through illustrations

There is a great deal of awe brought to the appreciator of art that stems from an artist’s most raw and primitive qualities. Building the feelings of pure love, safety and warmth into figures and painted symbols is an act of rebellion against the safe zones of creating what is only popular and appealing.

René Magritte, The Lovers I, Oil on Canvas, 54×73.5cm, 1928

Through this article, I thought it was essential to shed light on The Lovers I; a 20th  century surrealist dream- and also one of my favourite paintings of all time.

The  world-renowned piece depicts two individuals posing side by side as though a photograph is taken of them in the process. Their faces are both wrapped in white veils; at first glance, this provides the viewers with no sign of the couple’s relationship. One can only interpret a certain threshold of the love they share through their physical proximity. At intent observation, the couple seem immersed in a cool, dark greenery that brings about an absolute serene and intimate mood. Though this painting is a hard euphemism to crack for many, its composition makes it mysterious and can take years to paraphrase, decode and analyze each brushstroke to a school of thought.

René Magritte and his wife Georgette Berger 1922

The covered faces initially plant fear in anyone laying eyes on Magritte’s notable piece for the first time, but on the contrary comes the following; the gentleman’s closeness and the lady’s comfortable stance create a type of incomparable harmony.

René’s marriage to Georgette Berger inspired the tone of The Lovers I, whilst putting emphasis on the theme of blind, unconditional devotion. Since Magritte was quite subtle with leaving the viewer with the choice of analysis, mine was put into a modern context of what romantic relationships and the concept of love is like during the 21st  century.

René Magritte, The Lovers I (detail), Oil on Canvas, 54×73.5cm, 1928

The way Magritte chose to dress the silhouettes in the painting shows a sense of formality shining through the hems of a neat tuxedo and an elegant burgundy dress. The latter portrays the grace and quietness that comes along with the truest embodiment of admiration. What has enlightened me from looking beyond what the painting shows on the surface is how Magritte managed to create a territory of understanding natural experiences that almost every person in this world is set to go through; if not already gone through it.

Until today, Magritte spectators welcome open interpretations of The Lovers. Just like a lot of stories we hear around us, just like the events we see right before our eyes about the rise and fall of love, there is an apparent backstory that no one knows of except for Magritte himself. The idea of ‘surrealist love’ which is at the core of this piece, is rather a matter that only concerns the couple shown in the painting. A secret inherent in the artwork. The cloth that embellishes the couple softly represents the obstacles that occur during the course of a relationship, which is contrasted by the physical reassurance seen in the man leaning towards his significant other, as though to tell her that any hardships will be overcome.

There is somewhat of a silent dialogue between them, a medium of communication that only they have established on their own and that only they can decode their feelings and intentions through. The shadows and lights reflected onto the draping give more depth to the bond the two lovers hold, and add a hint of reality and originality.

René Magritte and his wife Georgette Berger, unknown date

At the end of the day, any person is ought to be in touch with their emotions and intuitions, whichever way that comes. Transforming these primal human features and evoking them through works like this is what keeps someone true to themselves; and that is exactly why René Magritte is the example of never shying away from expressing what is fundamental and inborn; of never refraining to show love.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official artmejo/artmejournal policy.

All images courtesy indicated in captions.