The Seducer (Translation)
Le Séducteur (Primary Title)

René Magritte, Belgian, 1898 - 1967 (Artist)

Oil on canvas
Unframed: 19 × 23 in. (48.26 × 58.42 cm)
Framed: 25 1/4 × 29 3/16 in. (64.14 × 74.14 cm)
Magritte, one of the leading Surrealist artists, sought to achieve a “superior reality” in his art through a fusion of the conventional perceived view of the world and the unconscious—especially as experienced through dreams. Magritte described this painting as a “pictorial solution” to the “problem of water.” He arrived at this solution through a process he called “frantic contemplation,” in which he spent days making almost identical sketches of the same subject until he achieved a vision that represented the “total reality” of both the logical (the conscious) and the mysterious (the unconscious).
Signed upper right: "Magritte"
Inscribed on reverse lower right: "LE SEDUCTEUR / 1950"
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
2021-2022: "The Magritte Machine", Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, Spain, September 14, 2021 - January 30, 2022; Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain, February 24 - June 6, 2022

2018: "René Magritte: The Fifth Season", San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, May 19 - October 28, 2018

2014: VMFA Statewide exhibition, "From Picasso to Magritte: European Masters from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Taubman Museum of Fine Art, Roanoke, VA January 25 - August 23, 2014.

2013-2014: VMFA Statewide exhibition, "European Modern: Master Artists from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", William King Museum, Abingdon, VA, August 23, 2013 - January 5, 2014.

2006-2007: "Magritte and Contemporary Art: the treachery of Image", Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 19, 2006 - March 4, 2007.

2003: "René Magritte", Gelerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, paris, February 10 - June 9, 2003.

1998: "Retrospective René Magritte, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, march 6 - June 28, 1998.

1996-1997: "René Magritte", Musee des Beaux Arts de Montreal, June 27 - October, 1996; Kunstsammlung Nordheim-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, November 23, 1996 - March 2, 1997.

1995: "Surrealism: The Mirror of Anxiety", Nassau County Museum of Art, January 8 - April 9, 1995.
©artist or artist’s estate

Talks & Lectures: René Magritte and the Art of Seduction

Dr. Michael Taylor, Chief Curator and the Deputy Director for Art & Education, Oct 29, 2017

This lecture focuses on The Seducer, a mysterious and provocative painting in VMFA’s Mellon collection.

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.