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The False Mirror by Rene Magritte, 1928 - Meaning and Analysis

The False Mirror by Rene Magritte, 1928 - Meaning and Analysis


The False mirror - Rene Magritte. Canvas, oil. 54 x 80.9 cm


“The False Mirror” was painted by Rene Magritte in two copies. The original one was created back in 1928 (although 1929 is mentioned in some sources); the second version is dated 1935, but it gained less popularity in comparison to its original version.

The composition in the work is a close-up view of the human eye. But this is not an ordinary eye. Its iris is shown by the author in a form of the bright blue sky with white clouds floating across it, which is a symbol of wisdom and spirituality; their endless journey along the heavenly dome is the way of spiritual perfection and personal growth.

The eye which we look at, is reflecting what the human sees in front of him now, at this very second. This is what the human enjoys. This is what creates an image in his head when looking at something or someone.

The sense organs only reflect how the things appear, their structure or smell. However, they are not able to convey the depths of the world, of each of the most ordinary objects and things, in which Rene Magritte firmly believed. Another title for this work is "The Crooked Mirror": we only see what is available to our eyes. The unattainable assists with capturing the meaning of being, as our consciousness, searching for truth, starts to wander through the most distant and hidden places of the universe, learns and understands it. Only from realities that are infinitely distant from each other can a new, unique image be born ...

In modern times, the painting served as an inspiration for creating the logo of the "CBS" American television and radio network, made in 1952 by William Golden. So, it shows the human eye, placed in the center of the circle.

The False Mirror by Rene Magritte
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