Notebook with a cover representing the Surrealist painting of Magritte representing a surrealist painting of Magritte Souvenir de Voyage “. © Fondation Magritte / C. Herscovici (1961)
The apple with a mask is featured in many Magritte paintings. Magritte was a pure conceptual artist free from all cultural, historical, religious or national associations. In Souvenir de Voyage”, a masked apple with no eye stares at us, from a deserted beach. It “an unsettling image, one that does not straightforwardly mean” anything. I want to create a mystery, not to solve it” said the artist.
Magritte was a painter of ideas; a painter of visible thoughts, rather than of subjects. He valued neither lyrical nor the abstraction. He described his paintings saying, My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, “˜What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.”