An optical effect, a painting within a painting, what does René Magritte show us in this work by The Human Condition II ? One of his usual paradoxes loaded withSurrealism. A type of image that always invites us to play and reflect like his famous This is not a pipe
Magritte's The Human Condition II
The title of the painting has little to do in principle with the image. It is a bright space, a room open to the outside through a semicircular arch. Over there you can see a beach, the sea and the sky. Part of that landscape is covered by the wall of the room. And yet, on a canvas supported on an easel, that same beach, sea and sky continue.
Everything falls silent and a sphere on the ground catches our attention. What does all this have to do with the title? Perhaps nothing, and we find ourselves before total Surrealism. But Magritte always endows his images with some meaning, and generally by reflecting on the communication that the same image poses.
So to understand his works, this one or others like The False Mirror or Reproduction Forbidden, we must start from the principle that we, the spectators, are a key part of the work. Magritte proposes to communicate with us and that is why we must participate.
That is, we ask ourselves what we see, is it a painting, a window, a landscape, allthe time? And that, does it happen in reality? And us, what are we? So we are asking from the image. The starting point is the hyper-realistic painting and ambiguity, but from there we the viewers are the ones who look for the meaning. The painter's purpose is not to give us any idea, but for us to extract it from his painting. That yes, if we want and each one ours.
Magritte's The Human Condition I
In short, Magritte's paintings can only be seen as an aesthetic fact or as an act of communication. In any of the cases, they are always images full of irony, even in works that seem very similar. For example, there is another painting of yours titled The Human Condition I. But in this case, change the sea for the mountain, and the window of the room is completely the canvas, or vice versa. And as he says, the tree in the painting hides the tree behind it. He offers us a vision of the world in which that tree is both inside and outside the room. But as we say, that is only the beginning, then each of us will interpret it as we please.