The Son of Man: Curiosity At It’s Finest

This piece of art is of particular interest to me because it is not an ordinary landscape or portrait painting. This piece of art requires some thinking in trying to grasp what the artist is trying to portray through their artwork. The artist of this oil on canvas painting is René Magritte. René Magritte (1898-1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist who took everyday objects and gave a new perspective on them though his artwork. Magritte did not start his initial career as an artist, originally he designed wallpaper and advertisements to pay the bills, painting was just a hobby of his. Then from 1927-1930 his artwork finally became popular, and remained popular the rest of his life. This particular oil on canvas painting is called The Son of Man (French: Le fils de l’homme). The painting is of a man in an overcoat wearing a bowlers hat standing in front of a short wall and the sea and cloudy horizon behind him. This isn’t your average everyday “By-the-Sea” picture though. The man strangely enough has an apple floating on the area where his face would be. You can see the corner of his left eye but that is it. This painting makes me feel very curious about what this man’s other facial features look like, almost mad. This image projects the idea that it is human nature for us to be curious, not only what this man’s face looks like, but the unknown in general. Magritte uses fairly neutral colors around the man in the overcoat and bowler hat. The two really bright colors that really jump out at the viewer is the red neck tie and the green of the apple. Overall René Magritte does and excellent job of connecting to the viewer and getting his message across.


One thought on “The Son of Man: Curiosity At It’s Finest

  1. Haileigh,

    Excellent choice for your art critique. I am a huge fan of surrealism and my research on the movement is going to be published in a book from the University of Manchester in England next year. I remember going to a big Magritte exhibition in LA several years ago, and in the museum, they laid down carpet with sky and clouds and on the ceiling installed panels with images of roads and freeways. It was so cool and disorienting. I think your analysis of Magritte captures his essence. He loved to present mundane, every day objects like average men in their bowler hats and apples and then juxtapose them in a bizarre way. There is nothing inherently surreal about a man or an apple, but when you change their positions and relations, suddenly it becomes strange. Thus, the meaning of or comfort we have in objects depends on our relationship to them. An apple in the hand if comfortable. An apple hanging in front of your face is a threat.

    Great Job 20/20


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s