Le Dormeur téméraire (1928)

Magritte, René (1898-1967)

Le Dormeur téméraire (The Reckless Sleeper)
Oil on canvas, 116 × 81 x 2 cm
Tate BritainLondon

A figure sleeps in a wooden alcove above a dark cloudy sky. The way into this space is barred by a tablet embedded with everyday objects, which are displayed as in a children’s book. These objects are presented as if dreamed by the sleeper. As Magritte knew, some or all of them could also be read as Freudian symbols. This combination of different possible interpretations adds to the painting’s suggestion of unease and disorientation. It was painted when Magritte was closest to the French Surrealist group, having moved temporarily to Paris from Brussels. (Tate)

See also:

• Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939)