The Book of Threes

René Magritte

History

René François Ghislain Magritte (November 21, 1898 – August 15, 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He is well known for a number of witty and amusing images. Surrealism was a cultural movement that began in the mid-1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members. The works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions, and the use of non sequiturs. Some viewed their art as an expression of a philosophical movement that was dedicated to revolutionary change. Magritte would ultimately break with Andre Breton, the founder of the Surrealist school. Magritte’s work primarily addressed the issue of representation in the work of art. Magritte seems to suggest that no matter how realistically the artist can depict an item, verisimilitude is still an artistic strategy, a mere representation of the thing, not the thing itself. The philosophical basis of this perspective appears to be the Kantian distinction between noumenon and phenonomenon. The artist deals in phenomena only. This Kantian perspective is the basis for modern relativism. Since observers are limited only to each individual perception, one can never know the universal, which essentially ceases to exist for beings like humans.

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Three is the Magic Number

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