Although he originally came from the Province of Hainaut, Magritte spent most of his life in Brussels where he lived, from 1915 to his death in 1967, no less than seven different addresses. When he settled at 135 Esseghem Street in Jette 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 as an internationally recognised artist, moving to a more bourgeois area in Schaerbeek.
In the meantime, he had produced almost half of his work at 135 Esseghem Street 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 paintings that would soon be among his greatest masterpieces, such as L’Empire des lumières (The Empire of Light) (1949), La Condition humaine (The Human Condition) (1933) or La Durée Poignardée (Time Transfixed) (1938).