Rene Magritte

Every week, we look at a different artist from contemporary art or art history; as I’ve said before, I always try to make it interesting for my students with stories, cool artworks, and whatever else. Once in a great while, I’ll even break out a video. Friday, we were looking at Rene Magritte, and I decided to show a video from The Thomas Crown Affair. In the clip, Pierce Brosnan is trying to sneak a stolen Monet painting back into the museum, and he uses himself and his associates dressed up like Magritte’s Son of Man painting as a distraction.

Ren? Magritte, The Son of Man, 1964, Restored by Shimon D. Yanowitz, 2009  øðä îàâøéè, áðå ùì àãí, 1964, øñèåøöéä ò"é ùîòåï éðåáéõ, 2009

(Little did the security guys know, the Monet was already in the museum with a forgery on top of it, and the whole Magritte get-up/misdirection was just a ploy so Brosnan could steal a different painting).

Cool scene, right? And how good is that song?

I also have a friend who selected a Magritte painting for the cover of his poetry book, so we check out the painting, the cover of the book, and we read a couple selections.


(You can order the book here if you’re into that poetry thing and have $12 to spend.)

Most importantly, though, my kids did some writing in order to share their opinions and first impressions about Magritte and his work. I’ll finish with a couple of comments I really liked from freshmen and sophomores:

“I really appreciate Magritte and his paintings. The idea of creating subtle problems in the laws of nature is brilliant. I quite enjoy looking through his paintings just waiting to see what is not quite what it seems.”  –Alex, 9th Grade

“This guy is kind of cool because he makes you think. He paints in ways I haven’t seen and it’s pretty cool to be able to think of things like he does. I love how he creates and what he creates.” –Shannon, 10th Grade

This is Not a Pipe pretty much blew my mind.” –Anthony, 9th Grade

Margritti this is not a pipe

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