oil on canvas
19.09 in. (48.50 cm.) (height) by 23.11 in. (58.70 cm.) (width)
signed 'Magritte' (lower right); titled and dated '"L'EMPIRE des LUMIÈRES" 1949' (on the reverse)
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts and Paris, Centre national d'art et de culture, Georges Pompidou, Rétrospective Magritte, October 1978-April 1979, p. 224, no. 145 (detail illustrated in color on the cover). Milan, Galleria del Milione, Magritte: il buon senso e il senso delle cose, May-June 1984, p. 51, no. 11 (illustrated in color, p. 37).
Letter from R. Magritte to A. Iolas, 8 August 1949. Letter from R. Magritte to A. Iolas, 2 March 1950. Letter from A. Iolas to R. Magritte, 7 April 1950. Magritte, exh. cat., Hugo Gallery, New York, 1951, no. 8 (illustrated on the back cover; titled L'empire des lumières I). H. Michaux, “En rêvant à partir de peintures énigmatiques” in Mercure de France, December 1964, pp. 593-594. C. Bussy, “L’accent grave: Emission radiophonique” in Le fait accompli, nos. 19-20, April 1969. Peintures de l'imaginaire: Symbolistes et Surrealistes belges, exh. cat. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1972, p. 118. J. Vovelle, “Peintres de l’imaginaire: Symbolistes et surrealists belges” in Cahiers d’histoire de l’art contemporain, no. 2, March 1973, p. 34. D. Sylvester, ed., René Magritte: Catalogue Raisonné, Oil Paintings, Objects and Bronzes, 1949-1967, London, 1993, vol. III, pp. 4-5, 10, 17, 77, 145, 157, 162, 187, 200, 210, 222, 227, 228, 261, 368 and 387, no. 709 (illustrated in color, pp. 145 and 394). S. Gohr, Magritte: Attempting the Impossible, New York, 2009, pp. 224-226 (illustrated in color, p. 225).
Alexander Iolas Gallery, New York (acquired from the artist, August 1949). Hugo Gallery, New York (acquired from the above). Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York (acquired from the above, 30 March 1950). Louise Auchincloss Boyer, New York (gift from the above, December 1950). Gordon Auchincloss Robbins, New York (by descent from the above, July 1974). Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York (acquired from the above). Daniel Filipacchi, Paris (acquired from the above, 1974). Byron Gallery, New York (by 1978). Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1981.