Attention Economy - July 8, 2023

Paul Delvaux. The Great Sirens. Oil on canvas. 1947. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Paul Delvaux. The Great Sirens. 1947. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Great Sirens
    Identified with the Belgian Surrealist movement, although never an official member, Paul Delvaux was influenced by his contemporary René Magritte, as well as by the Italian Metaphysical and proto-Surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. Like Magritte, Delvaux relied on the provocative and incongruous juxtapositioning of precisely rendered objects, persons, or situations to create imaginative dreamscapes. From de Chirico he adopted the use of dramatic settings characterized by receding diagonals and classical architecture. With a sense of theater, he evokes a classical world that, in fact, never existed. Here, the architectural elements are reminiscent of Greek temples-like those on the Acropolis-and secular Roman architecture, but do not represent any known buildings. In assimilating a variety of images, Delvaux’s goal was to produce “poetic shock” by “putting heterogeneous but real things together in an unexpected way.”
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