The Guardian has nice bit from the recently opened Magritte show at MoMA where research into the retrospective resolved the mystery a critically acclaimed painting that was presumed to have been destroyed. It turns out … the work was indeed destroyed when it was divided up and painted over by the artist:
The Enchanted Pose – which depicted two identical female nudes standing side by side [above] – disappeared without trace having received critical acclaim in 1927, shortly before Magritte created his painting of a pipe with the sentence “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” (This is not a pipe).
A black-and-white photograph of the “lost” painting from the 1992 definitive study on Magritte – the catalogue raisonné – listed it as “probably destroyed”.
To the excitement of art experts, x-rays and other imaging techniques have revealed two sections of the painting beneath two other Magrittes.
A head and torso from the composition have been found beneath The Portrait of 1935, a painting of an eye on a slice of prosciutto, which is part of a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA).
The feet of the nude figures were discovered beneath The Red Model of 1935, in which Magritte depicted a pair of feet – from toes to ankles – as surrealist boots. The painting, which is owned by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, inspired Magritte to paint a second version two years later for Edward James, the eccentric British poet, arts patron and collector of surrealist art, during his five-week stay in London. The other two quarters of The Enchanted Pose are now presumed to lie beneath two other Magritte paintings yet to be x-rayed.