La Trahison Des Images (The Treachery of Images)

Rene Magritte


The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a pipe”, I’d have been lying!

His statement is taken to mean that the painting itself is not a pipe. The painting is merely an image of a pipe. Hence, the description, “this is not a pipe.” The theme of pipes with the text “Ceci n'est pas une pipe” is extended in his 1966 painting, Les Deux Mystères.

I love this. The text reads: “This is not a pipe.”

The philosophy behind this is wonderful. This is an image of a pipe- It is not itself a pipe. A full and intriguing idea that many people don’t seem to understand. 

Let’s just think about the severe backlash and chaos caused by the political cartoonist who drew a comic about Muhammad.