René Magritte. The Menaced Assassin. Brussels 1927

René Magritte The Menaced Assassin Brussels 1927

The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 5, Collection Galleries

The Menaced Assassin is one of Magritte's largest and most theatrical compositions. Magritte was an avid fan of the pre-World War I popular crime fiction series Fantômas; he borrowed the placement of the two detectives' figures flanking the door frame from the Le Mort Qui Tue (The Murderous Corpse), a film from the series first released in 1913. It was Magritte's ambition to create a similarly immersive and fantastical world on the canvas, here made manifest in the unsolvable narrative of this enduringly mysterious painting.

Gallery label from Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 , September 28, 2013–January 12, 2014 .
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
59 1/4" x 6' 4 7/8" (150.4 x 195.2 cm)
Credit
Kay Sage Tanguy Fund
Object number
247.1966
Copyright
© 2018 C. Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Paul Gustave Van Hecke (1887 – 1967) of Galerie L’Epoque (1927 – 1929, then stock transferred to Galerie Le Centaure), Brussels. 1927 – 1929
Galerie Le Centaure (1921-1931), then Galerie Walter Schwarzenberg (1931-32), Brussels. 1929 – [likely until February 1932]
E.L.T. (Edouard Léon Théodore) Mesens (1903 – 1971), Brussels and London (from 1938). Acquired in the early 1930s [possibly in 1932] – until 1966. (On loan to Casino de Knokke, Belgium, from 1962 to 1965.)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Mesens with the Kay Sage Tanguy Fund, 1966

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email provenance@moma.org or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.