The Companions of Fear original oil painting by René Magritte is among this surrealist painter’s most intriguing art works. Many of Magritte’s later oil paintings take the humorous edge: In this way The Companions of Fear is somewhat different - Humor ebbs toward the darker side of irony.
The Companions of Fear was produced in 942. In 1926 Magritte produced his first surrealist oil painting. 1927 his first exhibition at Galerie le Centaure was crucified by the critics. He moved to Paris, was befriended by André Breton and so was involved with the Surrealist group. However, Magritte returned to Brussels in 1930 after making little impression within the Parisian art world. The Companion of Fear was produced as the German army took control of Belgium. In 1946 Magritte renounced the pessimism of his earlier works.
Magritte liked to challenge the viewer’s perception and encourage them to use their intuition. Owls symbolize wisdom. In many cultures they are believed to be able to see all things that are usually hidden – In the world of magic, dreams and clairvoyance. This oil painting depicts two Barn owls which are believed to ‘see without physical sight and hear what is not spoken.’ The other two birds are long eared owls with have remarkable hearing – Indeed, once again Magritte presents another intriguing hypothesis for the viewer.