Daily art story: René Magritte and the famous pipe

"The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture "This is a pipe", I'd have been lying!" -- René Magritte

René Magritte (1898–1967), a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, photographer and film maker, was one of the major figures of Surrealism and perhaps the greatest Belgian artist of the 20th century.

La Trahison des images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe) - The Treachery of Images (This is not a pipe) - from 1929 is one of his Surrealist masterpieces and an icon of modern art.

The Treachery of Images cleverly highlights the gap between language and meaning. Magritte combined the words and image in such a fashion that he forces us to question the importance of the sentence and the word. "Pipe," for instance, is no more an actual pipe than a picture of a pipe can be smoked.

On display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: http://museu.ms/museum/557/los-angeles-county-museum-of-art.

sg.netadmin/Pipe.jpg
Image © Magritte Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris


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