Elective Affinities (painting)

Elective Affinities (painting)

Elective Affinities
Artist René Magritte
Year 1933
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 41 cm × 33 cm (20 in × 20 in)
Location Private collection

Elective Affinities (French: Les affinités électives) is a 1933 painting by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte. The title is taken from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe book Elective Affinities.[1]

Magritte had the following to say about this work:

One night, I woke up in a room in which a cage with a bird sleeping in it had been placed. A magnificent error caused me to see an egg in the cage, instead of the vanished bird. I then grasped a new and astonishing poetic secret, for the shock which I experienced had been provoked precisely by the affinity of two objects -- the cage and the egg -- to each other, whereas previously this shock had been caused by my bringing together two objects that were unrelated.[2]