The J. Paul Getty Museum

La Folie Des Grandeurs (Delusions of Grandeur)

Object Details


La Folie Des Grandeurs (Delusions of Grandeur)


René Magritte (Belgian, 1898 - 1967)







Object Number:



152.4 × 121.9 × 83.8 cm, 242.6744 kg (60 × 48 × 33 in., 535 lb.)


© C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Credit Line:

Gift of Fran and Ray Stark

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Object Description

This sculpture is composed of three hollow female forms one inside another--like a Russian nesting doll made of bronze. A pair of robust thighs serves as an elegant base. From inside this form rises a taller and more slender lower torso. Finally, an almost full-length torso rests within the first two pieces. Because the work is made of extremely thin bronze, the viewer can actually peek inside these forms.

Throughout his career, René Magritte often revisited and revised his own imagery. This sculpture's motif is taken from a painting of the same title he created in 1962. Best known as a painter, Magritte's decision to produce sculpture toward the end of his life grew out of a conversation with his dealer Alexandre Iolas. Iolas suggested that Magritte produce a suite of sculpture based on his vast catalogue of paintings. Magritte selected images from eight paintings to be recreated as three-dimensional objects. For each sculpture, Magritte made a series of careful sketches that became the basis for wax casts. Though he died before the sculptures were cast in bronze, Magritte made several significant adjustments to the wax models and signed them when he visited the foundry in Verona, Italy.

- 1972

Parke-Bernet Galleries (New York) [sold, March 1, 1972, lot # 3322 to Fran and Ray Stark.]

1972 - 1992

Fran Stark and Ray Stark, upon the death of Fran Stark, retained by her husband, Ray Stark, 1992.

1992 - 2004

Ray Stark, upon his death, distributed to the Ray Stark Revocable Trust.

2004 - 2005

The Ray Stark Revocable Trust, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum.


Boström, Antonia, ed. The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-Century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 98-101, no. 13, entry by Christopher Bedford.