Welcome to London Discovery Tours

Posts Tagged ‘Rene Margritte Reckless Sleeper’

London Poetry, Dream and Walks

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Good morning. We trust you slept well. We hope that you are enjoying the insights into Tate Modern that we are providing on our London walks blog.

Today we are going to leave behind the Energy and Process wing and glide effortlessly into the Poetry and Dream wing.

One of the works that we will look at there is a painting entitled Reckless Sleeper, which was painted in 1928 by the Belgian artist Rene Margritte.

The first thing to notice about the painting is that it has a definite feeling of unease and disorientation about it.

It appears to be a picture of a man sleeping in a bed over a grey painted area on which various objects such as an apple, a candle, a crow, a blue ribbon bow and a mirror have been painted.

In fact if you look at the left side of the grey section as you stare full on at the painting you can even see that it traces the profile of the face of the sleeper above.

Behind the grey segment there is a vast almost menacing area of very dark blue which might represent the night, or it  might be representative of the man’s sub conscious.

If this is the case then the grey segment may be as sort of though bubble, the type you see in childrens comics, and the items may be things he is dreaming about, or things that his waking self holds dear or even values.

Magritte was very influenced by the, at the time, revolutionary ideas on psychoanalysis and dream interpretation that had recently been introduced by Sigmund Freud.

In Freudian dream interpretation symbols such as candles are seen as phallic symbols, whilst apples are seen as being female and, in particular, representative of breasts.

Margritte himself once said of his paintings that he used:-

“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 either, it is unknowable.”

Bearing that statement in mind the Reckless Sleeper could also have another meaning which we will discuss in our next posting later today.

In the meantime why not have a look around our site and take a look at the various and, indeed, varied London walks and Jack the Ripper Tours that we offer.