12 René Magritte Paintings (Full Of Mysteries and Shocks)

12 Rene Magritte Paintings (Full Of Mysteries and Shocks)

An artist who is known for creating humorous images in his paintings is what René Magritte could be described as.

He was a Belgian painter and famous Surrealist artist of his time.

His work would always give a new meaning to ordinary things such as hats, green apples, the clouds, and more.

Magritte used to play with objects to explain their abilities, but not in the way other normal people would do.  

His famous quote, “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see,” says all about the thought he has carried with himself.

If we look at René Magritte’s paintings, we can see how he mostly covered the faces of the characters he portrayed.

Do you know why?

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In 1912, his mother took her own life by drowning in the Sambre River. When he claimed the corpse, the face was covered with a piece of her dress.

The incident had such an impact on him that he began incorporating the same concept into his work, which you can see in paintings by René Magritte. 

Magritte’s first surrealist artwork was “The Lost Jockey,” which held his first solo exhibition in Brussels.

As we’ve already spoken about René’s background and some of his work, would you like to learn more about Magritte’s paintings?

Here you’ll acknowledge about the styles and techniques René has used and, most importantly, the thought that has driven him to produce these artworks.

1. The Lovers

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "The Lovers."
Image: arthive

An artwork that portrays romance in painting with a close-up of two individuals kissing each other—this is what a person will think when they have their first glance at the painting.

But does this convey the message of love and affection? Well, let’s find out!

The Lovers is a painting that depicts frustrated desires. It basically shows that no matter how close you are to a person, you can never truly know them as a whole.

The faces covered with white cloth or a veil act as a barrier between the lovers.

And what if I told you that this is the sequence of the painting “The Lovers”? 

This portrait is the second artwork by Magritte with the same title, commonly known as “The Lovers II.”

The Lovers I” was the first artwork by René Magritte under the same title.

2. The Son of Man

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "The Son of Man."
Image: singulart

Which painting made René Magritte famous?

The Son of Man‘, well, it may sound like a biblical story but it wasn’t related to anything religious!

This self-portrait turned out to be the most famous artwork by René Magritte.

The reason was that it generated curiosity among the public because of the man whose face is almost covered by a large green apple. 

The thought behind this masterpiece was that humans hide their secrets in the most interesting and proper way. 

They are pretending in such a manner that it is not visible to the eyes but still exists.

The green apple reflects the anonymity of a businessman who doesn’t present his true self in the eyes of society and pretends to be what they are not.

Do you have your eyes on this artwork by René? With The Son of Man replica painting, this amazing masterpiece can easily make it through your walls.

3. The Treachery of Images

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "The Treachery of Images."
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“Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” shown in the painting, means this is not a pipe, but the real meaning is more than what you think.

In 1929, painter René Magritte created this amazing artwork with more than one thought or theory.

The first concept was to explain that the painting of an object can never be the object itself, which comes under a meta message.

Later, René explained the painting, which was not a pipe but just the image of a pipe.

He replied to the admirer of the paintings with the small thought that he put in the art that it cannot be a pipe if it’s not filled with tobacco.

After this, there was some clarity among the people about the painting and the caption that was written under it.

(Also Read: Famous Dogs Playing Poker)

4. Golconda

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "Golconda."
Image: arthive

If we search for Golconda, the meaning is “source of wealth.”

Let me tell you that Golconda was once a wealthy city in India, where the diamond industry existed.

This painting by Magritte is one of the surreal paintings that shows several identical men in black overcoats and bowler hats.

All the men in this painting appear to be similar, but when you give a close glance at their faces, they are different from each other.

This famous René Magritte painting basically reveals the truth about the lack of individualism among people.

The thought of how an ordinary man appears, who has no unique identity except their own faces.

5. The False Mirror

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "The False Mirror."
Image: moma

A style of art known as “magic realism” is showcased in this Magritte painting.

But the question is, what message lies behind the paintings by René Magritte?

Magritte basically challenges the audience to question themselves about what they see and what they think they know.

Is the reflection of the sky just what a person is watching? Is this an inner vision or something beyond the human perspective? 

The eyes play as a motif in the painting, which also makes the admirer question whether it is opening into another reality.

The painting plays with the subconscious minds of the viewer, which makes it unique.

(Suggestion: Dogs Playing Poker Series Painting)

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6. Not to be Reproduced

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "Not to be Reproduced."
Image: moma

Another painting by René Magritte leaves the viewer in surprise as the painting displays enigmatic features.

Not to be Reproduced is a painting that shows a man standing in front of the mirror, but instead of showing his face, his back is reflected twice.

The thought that led to the creation of this amazing piece is that a person who hears reproduction has an idea about multiplicity.

René Magritte’s painting was commissioned by his friend Edward James.

The portrait was supposed to be of James, but instead of showing his face, Magritte decided to reflect the same image twice.

At present, it is housed in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

7. Rape

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "Rape."
Image: vintana

A painting that speaks about the raw truths of what he has experienced and where he found his inspiration from—his mother.

What caused this unusual art to occur in the first place? This answer has two main reasons:

  • The thought is to create a sexual painting that suggests how a male sees a woman.
  • This René Magritte artwork is an obvious reference to his mother’s death and the way they discovered her anatomy, which is the face covered with a naked body.

He implied with the painting that viewers absorb only the visual and are unaware of what is going on in the real world.

8. Personal Values

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "Personal Values."
Image: renemagritte

You know what makes René Magritte unique? The portrayal of familiar objects with thoughts in unfamiliar contexts.

René Magritte believed in the realities, meanings, and perspectives that could be seen in different objects.

In this painting, René Magritte has gathered various objects, such as a soap, a makeup brush, a wine glass, a comb, and a matchstick.

Magritte’s work has never included fantasy imagery. He once said, “I don’t paint visions.”

Giving meaning to things that already exist in human life but are unrecognized is what artist René Magritte portrays.

9. Time Transfixed

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "Time Transfixed."
Image: artic.edu

Magritte described this painting as a motivation to paint the image of the locomotive, which leads to other familiar objects like the fireplace.

In other words, this René Magritte surrealism art expresses that the painting is revealing the unseen rather than simply making the absurd seem possible.

The paintings by René Magritte are contradictory to common sense, yet somehow they’re true.

This was the second oil on canvas painting that was commissioned by Edward James.

Housed at the Art Institute of Chicago, this René Magritte work explores the subconscious mind in the context of psychological truth.

10. Man in a Bowler Hat

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "Man in a Bowler Hat."
Image: renemagritte

René Magritte’s art style used in this masterpiece is known for surrealist art painting. Basically, all the paintings by René Magritte revolve around the same art style.

Here again, we see that he featured two of his favorite objects in the artwork—a bowler hat and a dark overcoat.

This painting is similar to his earlier work, The Son of Man. However, there are a few differences, such as a dove in the frame instead of a green apple.

The eyes of the character are not as similar as they were in his earlier work.

Magritte’s thoughts behind this painting was to represent the power that ordinary things possess and challenge the viewers to re-think about the surroundings they live in.

11. The Therapist

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "The Therapist."
Image: arthive

Representing the role of psychoanalysis is what The Therapist is all about.

René Magritte has a distaste for psychotherapists, as he always wondered if they were the people who needed themselves the most.

He portrayed the objects and his character in such a way that it always seemed like a mystery, but the meaning was way different.

Magritte himself described that if the viewer was looking in a way to discover what it meant, they would end up no longer watching the thing itself but finding the answers that were raised.

The paintings by René Magritte are to be observed and not looked into.

12. The Last Word

One of the famous painting by René Magritte, "The Last Word."
Image: static.wixstatic

Some frequent questions: When did René Magritte die? How did René Magritte die?

At the age of 68, in 1967, he passed away from pancreatic cancer.

The Last Word was the last paintings by René Magritte, which was known by fewer people.

This color lithograph is created on oil on canvas, where the tree is in the center and the leaf is the main character of the painting, whose roots are exposed.

He was an explorer of life, which was reflected in his paintings, giving him the title “René Magritte: the art of living.”

To Conclude

Where are René Magritte’s paintings located?

The place that holds the most artwork by René is the Musee Magritte Museum, where his 230 works are displayed.

Do you know how many Magritte paintings there are? He has produced 372 artworks in his entire life, which is remarkable!

You can also learn more about the paintings in the Louvre museum, which holds the most famous artworks of all time.

But a query is still somehow unsettled: what do René Magritte’s paintings mean?

René Magritte described all his artwork as a visible image that hides nothing. 

When a person has their first glance, they ask themselves, “What does this mean?” The answer to this concept is that it does not mean anything. It’s a riddle that can never be solved!

Hello Aesthete People

Thank you for going through my blog, “12 paintings by René Magritte That Reflect the Subconscious Mind.”

I hope you learned something new about the subject and were able to expand your knowledge.

If you have any additional questions or material related to the blog, feel free to write to us in the comment section below.

We will be more than happy to hear from you and include that information in our blog.

Do you want to hang one of René Magritte’s works on your wall?

You can find the best replica work at PortraitFlip, where we produce 100 percent handmade paintings. Check out our reproduction pricing list for more details!


What was René Magritte most expensive painting?

A surrealist masterpiece, “The Empire of Light (L’empire des lumières)” was sold for a record of £59.4 million (US$79.8 million).

How many paintings did René Magritte paint?

Rene Magritte created over 370 pieces of work in his entire course of life.

Which place holds the most paintings by Rene Magritte?

The Musée Magritte Museum holds the most famous paintings by Rene Magritte.

What techniques did Magritte use?

René mostly used deadpan and illustrative techniques to articulate the content of his work. He always described his paintings as an image that concealed nothing.

What was Rene Magritte’s inspiration?

Magritte was inspired by André Breton, Sigmund Freud, and Jack Boynton works and try to incorporate them.

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