Although he originally came from the Province of Hainaut, Magritte spent most of his life in Brussels where he occupied, from 1915 to his death in 1967, no less than seven different places. When he settled there, together with his wife Georgette at the age of 31, he was only appreciated and supported by few and had to devote much time, aside from his painting, to advertising jobs, which he did in his workshop at the end of the garden. Twenty-four years later he left the house an internationally recognised artist, moving to more a bourgeois area Schaerbeek.
In the meantime, he had produced almost half of his work there with the support of surrealist friends for whom the house had become a meeting place or headquarters. During this period, Magritte experimented originally with the colours and form, which define his “période vache” or his “Renoir period”. He created and published brochures such as La carte d’après nature. He also produced, at the rue Esseghem, paintings that would soon be among his greatest masterpieces such as L’empire des lumières (The dominion of lights) (1949), La condition humaine (The human condition (1933) or La durée poignardée (Time transfixed) (1938).