René Magritte: Pipes

“Ceci n’est pas une pipe (this is not a pipe),” René Magritte declared in his landmark 1928 Surrealist painting, The Treachery of Images, which featured a hyperrealistic portrayal of a common wooden tobacco pipe. Written in dainty script, this phrase on Magritte’s masterwork begs the question: If it isn’t a pipe, then what is it? Inspired by metaphysical philosophy, Magritte’s pipe challenges viewers to question the relationship between language and everyday objects, as well as the distinction between art and reality. While the original painting The Treachery of Images hangs in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, other examples of Magritte’s pipe motif remain on the market, including a variety of the artist’s oil paintings, etchings, and lithographs that remind viewers to challenge themselves with …

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