Masterpiece Conversations: René Magritte

The Son of Man by René Magritte


Apples are everywhere in art. Paintings of harvesters in fields frequently have bushels of them. A still life fruit basket may look less appealing without one. Adam and Eve wouldn’t be complete without a tempting and delicious looking apple.

Often art teachers use apples to teach how to use colors and shades to make objects look like they have form. It’s safe to say that next to people, landscapes and seascapes, apples may be one of arts most favorite subjects. Since we are talking about apples in art, I must bring up one of the most famous paintings of an apple ever, The Son of Man.

It is a painting by the Belgian artist René Magritte, and in it you see a man wearing a suit and a bowler hat. There is one part of this painting that makes it stand out as a completely unique piece of work… Where is the man’s face? It’s there, but it’s hiding behind a floating green apple. Why? Why did the artist paint a floating granny smith in front of the man’s face? Mr. René Magritte believed that knowing something is there and not being able to see it adds to its allure, its excitement.

Have you ever gone on a family trip to the beach? You know you’re getting close but you just can’t see the water yet. How excited does that make you feel? René Magritte thought people would be curious what the man’s face looks like and this would add to the excitement of the painting. What do you think? Do you want to know what the man looks like? Can you see his eyes sneaking a peek from behind the apple leaves? Why do you think he used an apple? What fruit would you use in a painting of you?

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Ponder It!


Kevin Bartle


  1. Interesting! Very unique! Thanks Mr. Bartle!

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