Le Chef d'Oeuvre


Le Chef d'Oeuvre
Le Chef d'Oeuvre Art Print
Rene Magritte
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Le Chef d'Oeuvre is another of the paintings by Magritte that have a bowler-hat man; in this case, three bowler-hat men. Unlike Magritte's other "bowler-hat" paintings such as The Son of Man, 1964, this painting is set at dusk or twilight and the moon is visible. Also, we can see at least half of the man's fact while in other paintings the man's face is covered. It's interesting that there are three men and three moons. One would expect to see the moon in its various phases, yet here each moon is the same (Waxing Crescent Moon as viewed in the Northern Hemisphere) and the man is going through phases. Yet if you look closely, the height of the man changes so is this an image of three different men or the same man viewed from three different angles? 0 degrees (his back), 45 degrees (his left side), and 270 degrees (his right side).
The three men are looking in different directions, what do they see? The man on the left looks along our own line of sight (does he represent us?), the man in the middle looks to our left at a 45 degree angle (1/8 of a circle), and the man on the right looks off to our right (at a 90 degree angle to our own line of sight). And why are the two men on the right (and the moons above them) closer together? Why aren't three men/moons evenly separated? Is it to create the gap between the first and second man and to create no gap between the second and third man? Look in the gap -- the ground there is barren; now look at the ground to the right of the third man -- the ground has rocks. When looking at a painting, it's important to ask yourself, "What's going on here? Why did the artist do that?"

Some other Rene Magritte paintings that have a bowler-hat man are:

The Son of Man, 1964
The Son of Man, 1964 Art Print
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  Golconde, 1953
Golconde, 1953 Art Print
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L'Homme au Chapeau Melon
L'Homme au Chapeau Melon Art Print
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Buy Art Print: Le Chef d'Oeuvre