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Magritte: This is Not a Biography

2 November 2017

Our Art Masters series has already brought the lives of painters including Rembrandt and Van Gogh to graphic novel form. Now, courtesy of writer Vincent Zabus and artist Thomas Campi, it's the turn of the great Surrealist René Magritte.

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In Magritte: This is Not a Biography, Zabus and Campi employ a playfulness and wit reminiscent of their subject.

The Surrealist's life story is told through the character of Charles Singulier, who one day makes the fanciful - and, as we'll learn, fateful - decision to buy a bowler hat. It soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary chapeau melon: this one once belonged to René Magritte, and by donning it Charles has unwittingly entered the artist’s unbridled, off-kilter world.

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Charles is given a clear choice: uncover the secrets of Magritte’s life and work – or be doomed to wear the hat forever.

What follows is a remarkable exploration of Magritte’s imaginative landscape. Zabus and Campi examine the ideas and penetrate the mysteries of a paradoxical figure: a painter who didn’t like to paint; an instinctive anarchist who lived a suburban, petty bourgeois existence; a lonely, melancholy soul never far from his friends and collaborators.

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You can read an extract from Magritte: This is not a Biography at