Last piece of missing Magritte painting found in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The missing last piece of a painting by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte was found underneath another of the artist’s works at a museum in Brussels using x-ray imaging.

The fourth part of ‘The Enchanted Pose’ (1927) was painted over by Magritte to create his 1935 to 1936 work ‘God is not a Saint.’ It depicts two women leaning on columns.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium partnered with the European Centre of Archaeometry at the University of Liege to find the last piece of the puzzle last month using radiographic imaging.

“The x-rays are allowing to see really what is behind the painting,” David Strivay, a professor at the University of Liege, said. “It is a surprise, of course, to find the last piece of ‘La pose enchantee,’ but it is also usual to see different processes... with these kinds of techniques.”

‘The Enchanted Pose’ was recorded in Magritte’s catalog of works, but he cut up the painting and re-used the canvas in 1932, most likely to save money.

The first piece was found in 2013 under Magritte’s 1935 painting ‘The Portrait’ in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The other two pieces were found in Stockholm and Norwich.

The full work has now been fully virtually restored at the Magritte Museum, which is home to over 40 paintings by the artist.

“He’s really an international figure in the artistic movement of surrealism, so he’s very important in this modern painting era,” Strivay said. “It’s really a pleasure to work on this painter and understand how he’s working.”

Editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Matthew Mpoke Bigg