Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938

René Magritte. _Les Jours gigantesques (The Titanic Days)_. Paris, 1928

René Magritte. Les Jours gigantesques (The Titanic Days). Paris, 1928

Oil on canvas
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf

Narrator: The title of this work, The Titanic Days, refers to the mythological clash of the Titans and the struggle between the two figures here.

Director of the Menil Collection, Josef Helfenstein: This is one of the most disturbing representations in Magritte's work. It is a man attacking a nude woman. It is striking to see how exaggerated and crude the forearms and the hands of the woman are. They seem to be disconnected from the head. That is also true for the attacker, whose hand is on the thigh of the woman. It's not clear what the background is.

Narrator: The figures fuse together at the same time that they struggle against each other.

Josef Helfenstein: The three-dimensionality of her body, the full volume shaped through light, but then on the other hand, there is a flatness in this work that is very disturbing. Magritte manages to destroy the conventions of pictorial space, in that these two bodies are completely forced into one plane.

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