For me the conception of a picture is an idea of one thing or of several things that can become visible through my painting.
It is understood that all ideas are not conceptions for pictures. Obviously, an idea must be sufficiently stimulating for me to undertake to paint faithfully the thing or things I have ideated. The conception of a picture, that is, the idea, is not visible in the picture: an idea cannot be seen with the eyes.
What is represented in a picture is what is visible to the eyes, it is the thing or things that must have been ideated. Thus, what is represented in the picture L'empire des lumières (The Empire of Lights) are the things I ideated, ie., a nighttime landscape and a sky such as we see during the day. The landscape evokes night and the sky evokes day. I find this evocation of night and day is endowed with the power to surprise and enchant us. I call this power: poetry. If I believe this evocation has such poetic power, it is because, among other reasons, I have always felt the greatest interest in night and in day, yet without ever having preferred one or the other. This great personal interest in night and day is a feeling of admiration and astonishment--René Magritte, late April 1956 . (H. Torczyner, Magritte: Ideas and Images, New York, 1977, p. 177)