HIDDEN world

René Magritte liked to create intrigue through his art. One such example is Son of Man...

December 15, 2017 12:05 pm | Updated 12:19 pm IST

Art can sometimes make us scratch our heads and laugh at the same time. One such painting is Son of Man by Belgian artist René Magritte.

The painting shows a man wearing a black overcoat, a red tie, and a bowler hat. He stands in front of a low wall. In the background are the sea and a cloudy sky. The most surprising thing about the painting is that a green apple floats in front of the man’s face and covers most of it. If you look carefully, you can his eyes peeking from behind the apple. You cannot see his face but perhaps he can see you. The painting is fun to look at, but what does it mean?


The artist explained that he enjoys creating mystery using art. In Son of Man , he said he wanted to show that there lives a hidden world behind the things we see. Sometimes we can see little bits of the hidden world, like the man’s eyes in the picture. Magritte often wore a bowler hat and painted himself as the man in the picture. Such a painting is called a self-portrait.

René Magritte painted the picture using oil paints on canvas in the Surrealist (pronounced Sir-real-ist ) style. This means the artist used ideas from dreams and subconscious thoughts instead of everyday logic. Subconscious thoughts are thoughts that we don’t even know we are thinking.

Son of Man is an important painting because it has gone from being a piece of art to appearing in Hollywood movies, videos and books. Other artists such as Norman Rockwell, a famous American artist, have been inspired by it. The painting is now hidden away in a private collection but we can see many copies of it because it is so popular.

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