Musee Magritte (Magritte Museum), Brussels

Musee Magritte (Magritte Museum), Brussels (must see)

The captivating Magritte Museum houses an extensive collection of the Surrealist artist's belongings, along with a modest assortment of his early paintings and sketches. Magritte and his wife Georgette resided on the ground floor of this unassuming house from 1930 until the mid-1950s. It's an unconventional location for what effectively served as the headquarters of the Surrealist movement in Belgium, where many of its prominent figures gathered every Saturday to collaborate on a variety of subversive publications and images.

Offering a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of the 20th century's most influential artists, the museum faithfully recreates the ground floor as his studio and living quarters, using original furnishings and decor, with the rest meticulously replicated from photographs. The famous bowler hat, featured in several of Magritte's paintings, hangs near the indoor studio. Many elements of the house itself, such as the sash window, glass doors, fireplace, and staircase, as well as the lamppost out front, prominently appear in the artist's works.

In the garden, Magritte constructed a studio named "Dongo", where he produced his more commercial work, like graphics and posters, although he was often discontented when engaged in such mundane projects. His true artistic passion flourished in the dining-room studio, where he displayed a single work by another artist – a photograph by Man Ray – which remains there today.

Visitors are required to wear shoe-covers when exploring the first and second floors, which were separate apartments during the Magrittes' residency but now house a chronological display of letters, photos, posters, sketches, and other items related to the artist and his time here. There are also personal objects in the attic, which Magritte rented, including the easel he used in his later years.

Why You Should Visit:
Thoughtfully organized over three floors, offering a nice escape into a different world for a few hours.
Interesting to witness the development of Magritte's major themes and his transition into a retired surrealist.
The gift shop features a wide range of art prints on various objects at reasonable prices.

Tips:
Make time for the Magritte film on the same level as the gift shop, and consider getting an audio guide for the best experience, though note that the ordering can be a bit confusing in certain areas. Also consider buying an "all museums" ticket, which is affordable and grants access to two interconnected museums (Oldmasters Museum, Royal Museums of Fine Arts), eliminating the need to exit between visits.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Brussels. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Musee Magritte (Magritte Museum) on Map

Sight Name: Musee Magritte (Magritte Museum)
Sight Location: Brussels, Belgium (See walking tours in Brussels)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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