René Magritte’s Little-Known Art Deco Sheet Music Covers from the 1920s
From wallpaper to Golconda by way of Art Deco.
By Maria Popova
Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte may have carved his place in art history as a master of mind-bending, advertising-influenced imagery at the intersection of aesthetics and philosophy, but he also had a little-known early commercial career like other subsequently famous artists, including Warhol. Young Magritte made rent by working as a draughtsman at a wallpaper factory and designing graphic ephemera, among which were some 40 sheet music covers he produced in the 1920s, nearly two decades before Alex Steinweiss invented the album cover as we know it today.
For more on the delightfully obscure nooks of art history, see Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You About Master Painters and Sculptors.
Published May 14, 2012