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The Treachery of Images

The Treachery of Images (French: La Trahison des images) is a painting by surrealist painter René Magritte. It is also known as This is Not a Pipe[2] and The Wind and the Song.[3] Magritte painted it when he was 30 years old. It is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.[1]

The Treachery of Images
ArtistRené Magritte
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions60.33 cm × 81.12 cm (23.75 in × 31.94 in)
LocationLos Angeles County Museum of Art[1]

The painting 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]

The theme of pipes with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is extended in Les Mots et Les Images,[5] La Clé des Songes,[6] Ceci n'est pas une pipe (L'air et la chanson),[7] The Tune and Also the Words,[8] Ceci n’est pas une pomme,[9] and Les Deux Mystères.[10]

The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage.[11] Compare with Korzybski's ""The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory" as well as Diderot's This is not a story.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b La Trahison des images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  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 9780520236943.
  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 9780810913004.
  5. ^ "René Magritte - Les mots et les images". The Ideophone. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. ^ "René Magritte - La Clé des Songes". Artnet. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  7. ^ "René Magritte - Ceci n'est pas une pipe (L'air et le chanson)". Artnet. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  8. ^ "René Magritte - L'air et le chanson". Art Institute Chicago. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  9. ^ "René Magritte - Ceci n'est pas une pomme" (PDF). Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  10. ^ "René Magritte - The Two Mysteries". Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Magritte's The Treachery of Images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe)". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  13. ^ "René Magritte considers language and perception". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved March 16, 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • Allmer, Patricia. René Magritte: Beyond Painting, Manchester University Press, 2009. ISBN 0719079284.
  • Harkness, James, ed. Michel Foucault: This is not a Pipe, University of California Press, 2008. ISBN 0520236947.

External linksEdit