Magritte's paintings do not constitute representations of reality.

When Magritte offers "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." or "Ceci n'est pas une pomme.", he refers to the existential distinctness of his painting from that of a pipe or an apple. His painting would still remain in existence, even if the apple that inspired it ceased to exist for some reason. His paintings stand for aesthtically pleasing (and possibly philosophically profound) forms of expression. Their function is to convey a message or simply to look good, and their existence is justified by this function alone. The fact that the window in his Le soir qui tombe looks like a real window, or the fact that the lady in his Portait de Mme. Nellens resembles an authentic person, does not mean anything. These paintings do not mirror reality, they extrapolate from it. They do not make any assumptions about the universes they exist in; they play around with form, figure, color, identity, granularity, dimensionality, existence and various other concepts which we hardly ever think about. Their functionality remains irrelevant of such concerns, and they consequently overlook most universally accepted maxims. Magritte's paintings therefore exist regardless of our own universe. They constitute textbook examples of simulations.


The reproductions of Magritte's works in this web are meant for purposes of identification only and are not intended to infringe on copyright. All reproduction rights of Magritte's works are reserved by C. Herscovici, Brussels - Belgium.