Art History’s Funniest Moments: Ceci N est Pas Une Pipe


Image via Photobucket and dexies

During an undergrad class, a professor showed us Rene Magritte’s The Treachery of Images or Ceci nest pas Une pipe.  She explained that the French phrase meant “This is not a pipe,”  and said that Magritte tells the truth.  Why?  Because as Michel Foucault said, “This is not a pipe, but a drawing of a pipe,”  The class laughed in realization.  This painting itself represents snarky commentary at its finest.  Then again, Magritte has this dry humorous quality that emanates from his paintings.  He does not have Dali’s grand style, but he does execute with a quiet yet classy air.  He does not overwhelm you with his surrealist paintings, but instead lets you contemplate his visuals, and once you figure it out, you cannot help but chuckle.


Image via Photobucket and schatzibussi

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