He practiced black magic, hung cats by their tails and once woke up to find that a hot-air balloon had landed on his roof. Meet René Magritte, the Belgian painter of alternative realities who gave the world such iconic images as the man in the bowler hat, the pipe that is not a pipe and the green apple (which inspired the logo for the Beatles’ Apple Records label). He also happens to have his own museum. Opened in 2009 atop the Mont des Arts in Brussels, the Musée Magritte showcases photos, documents, nutty Super 8 shorts filmed by the artist in the 1950s and much-reproduced Magritte masterpieces like “The Treachery of Images,” “The Lovers,” and “The Empire of Light.” Located in a handsomely restored neoclassical building, the museum has three levels of galleries, a stylish brasserie, a chic little shop and solar panels on the roof that help make it one of the greenest new museums in Europe.
To augment its collection, this year the Musée Magritte borrowed several notable works, including “The Memoirs of a Saint” and “The Song of the Storm” from the Menil Foundation in Houston, and it plans to launch a series of special exhibitions on the artist’s relationships with other surrealists, such as Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí.