Tea Time with Rene Magritte

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Photo from renemagritte.org

Rene Magritte was born in Belgium on November 21, 1898.  He attended art school when he was in his late teens, but didn’t begin to paint in the surrealist style for which he is known until his twenties.  When he was starting out as an artist, he took on other jobs to make ends meet, like designing wallpaper and making advertisements.  Magritte and his wife, Georgette, moved to Paris in 1927 to work with other Surrealist artists, but he didn’t get along with the others well and eventually they moved back to Belgium.  Magritte passed away in 1967.

Books We Read

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If you’ve read any of my previous tea time posts, you know I’m a big fan of Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know…series.  These kid-friendly biographies are a great way to introduce artists and give a good overview of their style.  There are also some great picture books out there based on the works of different artists and I like to share those when I can, too!

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Magritte’s Marvelous Hat is a really cool book that includes several overlays that change the pictures.

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The first view…

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And then when the overlay is moved, it looks like this!  My kids thought this was pretty cool–and with some overhead transparencies, it might be fun to try your own!

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In Dinner at Magritte’s a young boy visits his neighbor, Magritte, who has Salvador Dali over for a visit.  The pictures in this book pay homage to some of the artist’s paintings, like the one above and this painting.  My kids enjoyed looking at the details in all of the illustrations and trying to figure out which of Magritte’s paintings they matched.

Projects We Tried

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The first project we tried was this fun positive/negative space activity from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.

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My kids really enjoyed making these self portraits (inspired by this painting).

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I liked the idea this blogger had to recreate “The Future of Statues“, but I wasn’t sure about where I could store two styrofoam heads, so we improvised and made our faces from Model Magic and then painted them.

If you’re looking for a fun artist to really draw your kids in, Magritte is a great one to study!

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