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2 / Dreams and Visions

The False Mirror
The False Mirror
Artist / Origin René Magritte (Belgian, 1898–1967)
Region: Europe
Date 1928
Material Oil on canvas
Medium: Painting
Dimensions H: 21 ¼ in. (54 cm.), W: 31 7/8 in. (80.5 cm.)
Location The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Credit © 2009 C. Herscovici, London/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Digital Image

expert perspective

Mary Ann CawsProfessor of English, French, and Comparative Literature, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

The False Mirror

» René Magritte (Belgian, 1898–1967)

expert perspective

Mary Ann Caws Mary Ann Caws Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

The whole history of the way the eye is represented, all the way through Surrealism, you see these eyes projected as both windows and mirrors. And looking at it through the window and looking into the interior soul of the artist seems to me one of the most interesting things possibly that the artist, any artist, can project upon the canvas, and upon the world. And in Surrealism, as in Magritte, there’s a, there’s an interconnection between the dream and the real, between night and day. And that is perfectly illustrated, I think, by The False Mirror—this kind of transparent, inner penetration of outside and inside. So it’s both the dream and the real world, and it’s the way that the painter—all painters—project upon the world their own vision and their own dreams.” 

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