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The son of man

René Magritte • Painting, 1964, 116×89 cm
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait, Allegorical scene
Style of art: Surrealism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1964
Size: 116×89 cm
Artwork in selections: 271 selections
Audio guide

Description of the artwork «The son of man»

"Son of man" - perhaps the most famous painting of Rene Magritte. The level of popularity and frequency of citation since it can be compared only to that of "The treachery of images" to the famous riddle that the picture tube is not the tube. "Son of man" is consistently referred to in various movies and television series (including the ubiquitous "the simpsons", where the reference seems to be to absolutely everyone the slightest significant cultural phenomena). One of the most spectacular and graceful references to the painting appears in the film "Thomas crown affair" in 1999, which is during the theft of the painting from the Museum it walks a dozen men in bowler hats, coats and red ties.

This painting resonates with two other works by Magritte – "The man in the bowler hat (1964) and "The great war" (1964). The first shows a man very similar to the hero "son of man", with the only exception that here the man's face closes a flying white dove. The heroine of "the great war" - dressed lady with an umbrella, which either hides, or decorates the bouquet of flowers is pictured on the same background as the "Son of man." The top half of the background is the sky (in the first case, blue with light clouds, and the second is covered with dark clouds), the lower sea and the low wall or fence. It is believed that green Apple, almost completely hiding the face of the man in the bowler hat is a symbol of the temptations that haunt modern Adam in our world.

Magritte himself said about these paintings is the following: "Interesting in these paintings is suddenly bursting into our consciousness the presence of an open visible and the hidden visible, which in nature never to each other not separated. Visible always hides behind another visible. My pictures just to identify this situation in a direct and unexpected way. Between what the world offers us as a visible and what is this visible under a hiding, played some action".

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov