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The Treachery of Images (French: La Trahison des images [la tʁaizɔ̃ dez imaʒ], 1928–29, sometimes translated as The Treason of Images) also known as This Is Not a Pipe[2] and The Wind and the Song,[3] is a painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte.

The Treachery of Images
Artist René Magritte
Year 1928–29 (1928–29)
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 63.5 cm × 93.98 cm (25 in × 37 in)
Location Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California[1]


The picture shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe."

The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!

— René Magritte[4]


Magritte painted The Treachery of Images when he was 30 years old. It is currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.[5] The theme of pipes with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is extended in Les Mots et Les Images,[6] La Clé des Songes,[7] Ceci n'est pas une pipe (L'air et la chanson),[8] The Tune and Also the Words,[9] Ceci n’est pas une pomme,[10] and Les Deux Mystères.[11]

The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage.[12] Compare with Korzybski's "The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory", as well as Diderot's "Ceci n'est pas un conte".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ La Trahison des images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), 1929, Painting, Oil on canvas. Purchased with funds provided by the Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection (78.7). On public view: Ahmanson Building 2nd Floor.
  2. ^ Foucault, Michel (2008). This is Not a Pipe (PDF). James Harkness (Editor, Translator), René Magritte (Illustrator) (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-23694-3. 
  3. ^ Bowman, Russell (2014). "Words and Images: A Persistent Paradox". Art Journal. 45 (4): 335. doi:10.1080/00043249.1985.10792322. JSTOR 776809. 
  4. ^ Torczyner, Harry. Magritte: Ideas and Images. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-8109-1300-4. 
  5. ^ "The Treachery of Images (This is Not a Pipe)". LACMA Collections. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "René Magritte - Les mots et les images". The Ideophone. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "René Magritte - La Clé des Songes". Artnet. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "René Magritte - Ceci n'est pas une pipe (L'air et le chanson)". Artnet. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  9. ^ "René Magritte - L'air et le chanson". Art Institute Chicago. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  10. ^ "René Magritte - Ceci n'est pas une pomme" (PDF). Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "René Magritte - The Two Mysteries". Olga's Gallery. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  12. ^ Haiman, John (2004). "Review of "Languages within language: An evolutive approach" by Ivan Fonagy". Studies in Language. 28: 246. doi:10.1075/sl.28.1.14hai. 
  13. ^ "Magritte's The Treachery of Images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe)". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  14. ^ "René Magritte considers language and perception". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 

Further readingEdit

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