Symbols and motifs are to paintings what words and music are to songs. Do you know what these paintings mean?
Art in the Classical period was a throwback to Greek and Roman culture with emphasis on the gods. Post Enlightenment, especially from the 19th century on, art became more complex. For example, Surrealism is a difficult concept to understand and may be interpreted in various ways.
The symbolism of some of these famous paintings is still being debated:
The Persistence of Memory - Salvador Dali :
This surrealist painting features what looks like a beach with melted clocks lying about. The painting is considered to be an allegory for the relativity of Space and Time as in Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
The Son of Man - Rene Magritte:
The surrealist work is of a man with a green apple that obscures most of his face.
The Thinker - Rodin:
This is a sculpture of a man sitting with his head bent and supported by his hand. It is said to be a representation of the Italian poet Dante who wrote Inferno.
The Treachery of Images - Rene Magritte:
Magritte drew a picture of a pipe with the caption (in French): "This is not a pipe" that refers to a statement: "The map is not the territory."