The Listening Room

Isn’t this painting silly?

Magritte - The Listening Room

“The Listening Room” by Rene’ Magritte (1898-1967.)

Since June is our “Summer Sillies” month, we are taking a look at the art of Surrealism, which was a movement in art during the 1920s in France. Surrealist art begs for attention because it is “silly” or unusual and makes people scratch their heads in wonder what the artist might be thinking.

Surrealist artist Rene Magritte is our artist of the month. He was born in Belgium in 1898. As an artist, Magritte wanted people to look at ordinary things in different ways and often put items together in unexpected juxtapositions. Often he painted objects in places were they didn’t usually belong like this gigantic apple that takes up the whole space, called “The Listening Room.”

Reflection Questions:

Q. What is the name of this painting?
A. “The Listening Room.”

Q. Why do you think the artist, Rene’ Magritte, titled it “The Listening Room? Can apples hear?
A. No! Apples can’t hear! Answers may vary, but one possible answer might be that he was being, as we adults say, “ironic” or as your little one would say “silly.”

Q. Can an apple fit in a room?
A. No! That’s silly!

Q. Why do you think Magritte put a window in the room on one side?
A. To shine some light on his subject! In this way he could paint the apple to look juicy and round using a single light source.

Q. Why do you think he chose a green apple instead of a red one?
A. Magritte used green apples quite often in his paintings. He also used a bowler hat, which he often wore, in his paintings. Maybe he liked to eat green apples better than red ones, just as he liked to wear his bowler hat, so painted the things he loved in his paintings, just as many artists do.

Join us for more “Summer Sillies” next week on June 11, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. as Fireflies Blog presents an opportunity for literature, art and a legacy moment at:

Coffee and Canvas art studio
Springs Plaza Shopping Center
2401 W. State Road 434, Suite 163
Longwood, FL 32779


We will be reading Three Hens and a Peacock and painting peacocks! We’ll also take a look at more of Rene’ Magritte’s surrealism artwork and have the opportunity to create our own “silly” surrealist piece as well! Call for more information and to register for this fun summer project! This is a great way to make time to share the Fireflies opportunities we blog about with your children!


Laura Bird Miller
Owner, Coffee and Canvas

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