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1948, Rene Magritte

The Treachery of Images displays Magritte’s attempt to have the viewer question their reality. The painting portrays a large single pipe, and at the bottom of the painting, in French, states “This is not a pipe.” Magritte’s point is simple: the painting is not a pipe; it is an Image of a pipe. An anecdotal story is that when Magritte was asked if the painting was a pipe, he replied that of course it is not a pipe, and suggested that they try to stuff it with tobacco. He used the same technique in a painting of an apple, portraying a large green apple, with the line “This is not an apple.”

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