Since everyone did such a tremendous job on close reading a work of art, let’s go ahead and practice some more.

Study the following painting for a minute. (Time yourself; don’t cheat!)

Rene Magritte (French, 1898-1967) The Son of Man (1964) Oil on canvas.

Rene Magritte (French, 1898-1967) The Son of Man (1964) Oil on canvas.

Now respond to the following prompt: What is the artist trying to say about the subject? Try to be precise, using at least one specific piece of evidence from the painting to back up each claim you make. Also, try for at least three claims/suppositions.



24 thoughts on “2015 BLOG ASSIGNMENT #14

  1. From what I can initially gather from Rene Magritte’s “The Son of Man,” is that there can be various meanings depending on who is looking at it. The beauty of this piece is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I am not a connoisseur of art by any means, but I know enough from experience that this piece exerts aspects directly with surrealism. According to Merriam-Webster, “surrealism sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind” which was very avant-garde when it first began to gain popularity. With this piece, I personally see two different meanings.

    The first interpretation is a man trying to see through the distractions and something that society values so much. It is evident that his right eye is trying to see past the “green apple.” I believe that the “green apple” is an allegory for money and material wealth general. In the background, there is an ominous sky and a long fall into the depths of the ocean. Money is something people will do crazy things for and many end up killing themselves because of it. Money is a piece of paper and it controls nearly every aspect of people’s lives. From what I see, Magritte’s character is trying to fight money from “taking him over the edge.”

    My second interpretation is that of Adam from the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. The character in “The Son of Man” represents Adam and the apple represents Eve and the tempting of Adam with the “Fruit of Knowledge.” The painting shows him trying to make an important decision. He might even be trying to see past the apple because God Himself is calling his name. If you look closely at the painting he on the brink of a fall into the ocean which can mean his decision on what to do with the apple can affect the rest of his mortal life.

    While analyzing this piece of art I picked up on several different themes or the overall “tone” of Magritte’s work. The character seems very sophisticated due to his ensemble yet defeated because of his posture, lack of expression, and color of clothing. His posture and clothing were not at all lively, his gray outfit matched perfectly with the gray sky which made the scene that much more ominous. Maybe this whole piece was to invoke a sense of mystery.

    Either way, this piece is open to interpretation and can be seen differently by different people. Art itself is very subjective, especially surrealism. I’m sure not everyone has the same interpretation of Salvador Dali’s work. In this case, the only true way of really knowing is by asking the artist himself.

  2. In this picture, there is a man wearing a suit, tie, and hat and he is looking snazzy and professional. He is standing in front of a small wall, and it looks like the ocean is in the background and it seems to be a cloudy day. The an also has an apple in front of his face, not allowing him to see anything really. One of his eyes is peeking out just a little bit from behind the apple.

    I think, in this piece, the artist is trying to say that man is tempted by evil things, or in this case, materialistic things. The man in the painting is supposed to represent man, or Adam from the Bible. The apple represents temptation, materialistic things, and all the evils that mess with society. The picture is meant to represent Adam and the apple he ate represented evils and temptation, with it dealing with modern society as things like money, greed, and other temptations test society and Man to do evil things. I think the guy’s eye is peeking out just around the apple for a reason; it is meant to show that a small part of society is seeing past these temptations and is doing the right thing, and moving past the apple, or evils. But not enough of society is doing it to push society as a whole past the evils and temptations.

  3. In Rene Magritte’s Son of Man, a professional looking business man is the main subject of the painting. He seems to be standing on a bridge overlooking a stormy ocean. In front of the man’s face is a bright green and ripe-looking apple. The apple is blocking his view so it is the only thing he sees.

    I believe Magritte wanted to depict the struggles of man trying to resist temptation. The storm in the background could represent hard times or rough points in life. The apple in front of the man’s face could have many meanings. One of which is temptation. The way the apple is covering his eyes means that temptation is the only thing he sees, but his posture makes it look like he is trying to resist. The closed fists to the man’s sides show that he is trying his hardest not to be tempted even though that is all he sees. This proves that Magritte wanted to show that this man has a lot of strength and willpower not to give in. Another way the apple could be used is to represent greed and sin. The apple is covering his identity so we do not know who this man is. This could mean that no matter who you are, greed will change you. Someone’s true identity can be masked by their sin and greed.

    More specifically, I believe that the man in this painting represents Adam- especially after reading the title of the painting. Adam is known as the “original son of man”. The fact that the man is resisting temptation is more evidence that he could be Adam. After all, it was eve who gave in.

  4. In this painting by Rene Magritte called “The Son of Man”, you see a man dressed in a very formal business attire. The man is standing in front of a very open seen of the ocean and the horizon meeting a very cloudy sky. He is also standing in front of a small brick wall. There is a green apple hanging in front of the gentleman’s face. The apple blocks out the man’s main facial features including his nose, mouth, and almost all of his eyes.

    In this painting, the most prominent features that come out first are the apple over the mans face and the colors that stand out.To start, you mainly see the main focus is the symbolism of the apple over the man’s face. The apple can symbolize many things but in this case it symbolizes temptation and evil in the world. Its position right in front of the mans face shows how there is no way around these temptations in life. There is no way around them. This is also shown by the gloomy sky overcoming the man in the background.

    Another aspect that stands out from this painting is the name and the man actually in it. The name behind the painting “The Son of Man” is almost directly tied to the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The man eats the forbidden fruit from the garden . Another very compelling aspect to this painting is the posture of the man. The posture of the man in this painting is very stiff and strong almost showing a restricted or unbothered feel to his stance. This represents the mans will power to resist the temptation and overcome what is easy and most obvious.

  5. Rene Magritte’s “The Son of Man”, is a painting of a man standing in front of a low brick wall. This brick wall looks like it is the edge of a bridge or dock as a vast body of water is behind him. Inspecting the painting, it gives a mode a dark mood. The skies are cloudy and dark, the vast body of water is dark blue, the man is wearing a black suit, and the brick wall is not necessarily the most cheerful color.

    Another obvious theme of the painting besides its dark colors is the apple. The apple covering the mans face at first does not make any sense, but it is clear that the apple symbolizes something negative. By showing the man’s left eye at the edge of the apple, Magritte gives the apple a bad connotation.

    In Adam and Eve, the two could eat all fruits of any trees except one. The fruit of that tree has been symbolized by an apple through time, thus leading me to believe that this painting symbolizes something that all men must face. The apple symbolizes temptations. In Adam and Eve, God told them not to eat from the tree but they fell into temptation. By putting the apple on the man’s face, Magritte is trying to prove that temptation is unavoidable.

    I believe the man in the painting represents Adam. The painting name, “The Son of Man”, makes me feel like this painting has a religious meaning. However, the question arises as to who is the “Son of Man”. Through context clues of the painting, it is clear to me that Adam is the man.

    Despite the apple covering the Adam’s face showing that it is unavoidable, Adam has a very stiff and strong posture. It seems as if Magritte is trying to say that although it is unavoidable, it doesn’t mean we must fall to temptation. Adam almost seems as if he is not bothered by this apple. Going back to the lefty eye showing, it represents Adam’s will to try and get through this temptation.

    The painting leads me to believe that this is Adam fighting of temptation. This however is ironic because in the story of Adam and Eve, Adam failed in the face of temptation due to Eve.

  6. The painting “The Son of Man” by Rene Magritte depicts a man in formal attire standing in front of an ocean. The man’s face is obscured by a green apple. The man appears to be docile and doing nothing while the fruit is floating in midair. The sky in the background is cloudy and grey. The water is calm and still. Concrete bricks take up about one fourth of the background. The painting seems simple enough with the main focus; however the meanings behind the painting can lead to different interpretations.

    One of the most initial interpretations is that this correlates with the story of Adam and Eve in the bible. The most obvious thing that points towards this is the title of the painting, “The Son of Man”. According to the bible, Adam is the first person to have lived on Earth. The next symbol to point towards the biblical interpretation is the bright green apple in the middle of the man’s face. According to the bible, an apple was used as temptation to Eve in order for her to disobey God. Having the apple obscuring the man’s view reflects the temptation. The gloomy background could be foreshadowing the consequences of temptation. It is the calm before the storm. Once the apple is bitten, all hell will break lose. This is quite similar to Adam and Eve’s story. I believe the artist was trying to point out man’s corruption and temptation.

    My altered interpretation was based off of the four elements: water, wind, earth, and fire. The brick in the background represented the earth. The ocean was water. Wind is the cloudy sky. Fire would be represented by the man. Thinking back, man was the one learned how to control fire. In mythological terms, fire was both good and bad. This strongly corresponds to man. They have done well in some aspects for their own kind, yet still continue to destroy. The apple represents life. Once all the four elements are combined, life is created and can flourish.
    I must end this with style. “You are the apple of my eye”.

  7. The painting, “The Son of a Man”, by Rene Magritte, creates a stunning representation of civilization and humanity’s obsessive need for materialism. The well-dressed man is shown standing in front of a low wall with the ocean or lake in the background. Most appealing to all, is the green apple obstructing the man’s view with one eye appearing to the side of the apple.

    The man of the painting is dressed in a wealthy black suit completed with a “bowl” hat, a common outfit of wealthy men in the twentieth century. It can be interpreted of the man to be an analogy to society who obsesses with objects over human values. The hands are rested along the legs of the man which can depicted of the man being calm and stress-free. Where in reality, he is not.

    The green apple could be represented as materialism such as money and greed that leads to temptation. Some may say this is a religious meaning and allusion because of the forbidden fruit which tempts Adam to eat in which he does. The title too depicts religion. “The Son of a Man”, connects God and Adam( the man in the painting). Adam and Eve are the first humans of Earth of which God created them. Therefore, Adam would be called “The Son of a Man” because God would be considered the “Man” aspect while Adam( the main in the painting) would be the “Son.”

    Also, there appears to be a glimpse of an eye staring to the side of the apple. The eye represents society and people who are tempted to materialistic objects. It seems to appear that the man in the painting is somewhat “fighting” the temptation of one eye while the eye blocked by the other eye leans forward to temptation and sin. Ironically, Adam is tempted and loses balance with God. The Man in the painting seems to be colliding with temptation which Adam does not do.

  8. Rene Magritte who painted The Son of Man, in this painting there is man who is wearing a hat and a suit with a long coat because of the weather it is a cloudy day. In the background there is a with a brick wall where it is blocking him from the ocean. The first thing I noticed when I looked at the photo was the green apple that had looks like it is growing from his hat. The apple isn’t covering is face entirely because you could see part of his eye and eyebrow on the right side of his face.

    I believe the artist is trying to say about the picture may be religious because when I think of the title the son of man, it makes me think of the son of man which apart of Christianity. The apple on the guy’s face may means that everyone hides something and everyone may wants to see what is hidden by how we see things. The apple shows interest and also may be a conflict because of the hidden face and the visibility of his eye that is present. When I think of the son of man he could be a businessman by the way he looks but the apple blocks his face. The face may be blocking his face because he may be trying to hide something from society and he may be ashamed of what he had become or became. I feel like many people see this painting as a religious view but others my see it as a view of how society.

  9. Rene Magritte’s painting “The Son of Man” is about consequences. It references the biblical story of Adam and Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit of Knowledge, but not is the sense that’s its referencing the resistance of temptation, or the lack thereof in Adam’s and Eve’s case. “The Son of Man” is about the consequences of not resisting. The Son of Man is modern humanity. And modern humanity is standing in an oil canvas painted in blending tones of blue and gray, as dark and dull as the man’s dull overcoat. Everything is muted and dull. Even the blue expanse behind him, perhaps an ocean, lacks everything except a flat one-note tone of boring blue. The sky brims with stormy, grey clouds, which often symbolize a sad feeling of depression or unhappiness. This level of unhappiness is paralleled by the attire of the man. His clothing carries on with the theme of a flat color scheme and almost perfectly blends with its surroundings. The overcoat is shapeless and dull, and seems to match his droopy posture. It is clear that the man works in the business profession, which is notoriously stereotyped for being unsatisfactory. A nine-to-five office job spent encased in a cubicle with nothing but nasty paperwork to keep company can do nothing but suck every ounce of joy from a person. And according to Magritte, that’s exactly what modern humanity has become-soulless little office workers. But there is one bright spot in the entire dreary painting. A big, fat, shiny, bright green apple! With its lively leaves growing off the top and the vibrant gleam of the fruit, it hangs upon the man’s hat like a teasing reminder. A reminder of when everything was as green and bright as that apple. A reminder of when humanity was guaranteed eternal residence in the Garden of Eden. A reminder of life before Adam and Eve threw all away for a bite of a Forbidden Fruit and condemned humanity to the grim and bleak scene in the painting. “The Son of Man” isn’t a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve. It’s the story of what happened after.

  10. In Rene Magritte’s “Son of Man”, a professional looking business man stands in front of an ocean while an apple blocks his view. I’m going to assume that this has some connection with the biblical Adam and Eve story. In this story, a man (although he was tempted by a woman) gives into temptation and eats a forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. The placement of the apple in this painting symbolizes how man is blinded by the apple, which is a symbol of knowledge. The painting has a relatively pale palate, accentuated by the red of the tie and the green of the apple. This serves to establish a very bleak mood. The color palate compliments the pessimistic attitude of this painting. But there is something in the painting that I think represents hope; not all of the man’s face is covered. In fact, a little bit of the whites of his eyes are showing. This could mean that a little part of society isn’t blinded by knowledge. Overall, this painting seems to have a religious undercurrent, and is very beautifully done.

  11. The painting “The Son of Man” by Rene Magritte which depicts a man standing in front of the ocean, with an apple in front of his face. That’s pretty obvious, but what I seem to get from this painting is not something biblical or dark, but it seems to give the meaning, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This is symbolized by an average looking man with an apple falling in front of him. I’m also no expert when it comes to art, but this seems to be the main interpretation of the painting.
    I also have an idea that it could symbolize the government and its black suited agents. The reason I believe this, is that the guy is wearing a black trench coat, a tie, and a bowling hat, which is a popular outfit for the government’s agents. The way the government is interpreted, is that the apple is the government, it is the big brother, or the father. It ties in with the apple falls far from the tree saying, and makes sense if you think about it.
    I would like to try and interpret more, but since I’m not an artistic guy and not a fond man of art, I have tried as hard as I could to try and create parallels with this picture.

  12. In this painting by Rene Magritte, “The Son of Man”, there is a man in a black suit. By his attire I can guess that it is maybe 1920’s or 1930’s fashion. The thing that stood out to me the most was the apple in front of his face. It’s a green apple so I guess that maybe it is the only famous apple I know, the forbidden fruit from the garden of Eden, The painting strengthen my assumption because it is on his face which may refer to his brain. So pretty much the artist tried to show that the man is enlightened or maybe even corrupted by knowledge. Another thing that stood out to me was the background, in the background there was a blue ocean and a grey cloudy sky. The sky did not give off good vibes because when things are good people portray them them with light. Also in the painting there was a small like stone wall behind the man. This made me think like the man was on top of a wall overlooking the ocean. The last thing that stood out to me was the color of his tie which was red. Red ties are usually worn by powerful men so he could be a politician or a business owner.I don’t know what to think of this painting. It looks cool to me but i don’t know what the artist is actually trying to say I can only guess.

  13. What first intrigues me when I examine this piece of art is the facial expression of the man. Since no artist paints something in a painting without purpose, the fact that his face is covered implies that there is a reason for painting an apple in front of the man’s face. Through the apple, the artist may be communicating a variety of things about the man. The first is that the apple is meant to hide something about the man’s face such as a disfiguration. By placing such a perfect fruit over the man’s face, it covers any imperfection of the man and replaces it with something unblemished. This, although peculiar, is an effective way to cover up hideousness with beauty.

    The second message that the artist may be attempting to convey about the subject is that the man, on his own, is very dull. Envision this picture without the apple. It suddenly turns into a boring, plain, and unimpressive piece of art. In fact, without the apple, there is little to notice or pay attention to. The apple, however, brings an element of both surprise and curiosity to the piece.

    The final truth the artist may be communicating is that the man in the painting simply has an apple in his mouth. It is certainly not a common occurrence to find a man eating an apple that still has a stem and leaves attached. What brings me to this conclusion is sheer simplicity of the painting. There are no true surreal elements of the piece nor is there any grounded reason to believe that the painting is no more than a portrait of a man who is eating an apple. If this is the case, then there is no deeper meaning to the painting and the facial expression of the man is not something to be pondered.

  14. The artist, Rene Magritte, is trying to describe the man facing an unavoidable truth and different realities that the man is seeing.

    The painting is called, “The Son of a Man” I can only assume that the apple placed in front of the man is referring to the phrase, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” since the name of the painting has a family reference. The apple seems to have fallen and landed right in front of his face and stayed there. I feel like this is saying that the man is finally realizing how similar he actually is to his dad. Maybe his whole life he’s tried hard or avoided trying to be anything like his dad, but he’s finally realized something he can’t ever change: he’s an apple from his dad’s tree.

    If you look closely you can also see that this man’s arm is inverted starting at his elbow. This is showing that part of the man is still looking the other way, not in the direction of the apple. He isn’t accepting the fact that he is just like his dad, or at least part of him won’t accept it. His arm is faced towards the sky and the ocean, which symbolize an infinite reality. In that reality, the man doesn’t have to face the fact that he is just like his dad.

    There is a deeper interpretation of the apple and the sky and ocean presented to the man. The apple presented in front of him represents the reality that men usually focus on, the reality that’s just right in front of their faces. It’s the reality that we all have to live in, even if we don’t want to. The sky and ocean represent an infinite reality, where most people want to live in. In an infinite reality anything and everything can happen. However there is also a wall that is separating the man from the ocean and the sky and forcing him to turn back and face the apple. The wall is preventing him from living in a reality where it is limitless and boundless and forcing him to live in a reality where he has to face situations that he wants to avoid.

  15. Rene Magritte’s oil painting The Son of Man utilizes several different artistic techniques to help portray his message. Magritte’s message can be argued to be representing the importance of nature. Whether it be to put nature before human desire or to allow nature to guide humans back to the right path, the message focusses on importance of nature nonetheless. While these two theories may seem impossible to portray in one simple painting, there is evidence in the art work that helps prove both of these points. Although a simple painting could be portrayed in several different ways, Magritte does a great job in narrowing the perspective of the audience to similar general ideas.

    The idea of putting the needs of nature before that of human kind can be interpreted purely through the way Magritte positions the apple in the painting. By placing the apple in front of the human who appears industrialized, one could automatically conclude that to the artist, nature should be seen first. Magritte also places the apple at the focus point of the painting so no matter who is viewing the painting, the apple is the center of attention. The long body of the human helps guide the viewer’s eye to the apple. Magritte utilizes the perspective of the viewer to help solidify the message of valuing nature in his painting.

    The other possible interpretation of Magritte’s painting is to allow nature to guide humans away from a possibly dangerous path. This can be concluded through the use of shadowing in the painting. By placing the industrialized man in front of a gloomy and dark background, the painting’s audience should be able to determine that the industrialized man’s past is not very good. Magritte then places the bright apple in front of the man to show that in order to get to a bright future that is obviously being reflected off of the apple, the industrialized man must go back to his roots in nature. The only way to go back to the bright path that nature can provide, Magritte insinuates that man must allow nature to simply run its course.

  16. Rene Magritte painting “The Son of Man” is a very unique peace of art work. The man is standing in-front a brick wall overviewing the ocean. However he is not facing the ocean he has his back to it. The man is wearing a suit and tie with a dress hat. Whats very interesting is that almost his entire face is covered up by a green apple. Only a little bit of his right eye is showing.
    I feel like in this peace the artist is trying to show that the man is looking past a rough time in his life. Thats why everything is grey and gloomy. The apple represents looking past the, past and seeing the positive side of things i think. Thats why only one eye is shown looking past the apple.
    I believe the Red tie represents society. I think it represents societies rights and wrongs. Just because there are a lot of people that believe something is right there are just as many that think it is wrong. Nothing is ever perfect. I think the tie is drawn tight looking almost as if the man is being chocked by others ideals.
    The last thing i thought this picture was trying to possible show was maybe Adam and Eve. I think another meaning for the green apple could be temptation. In the story of Adam and eve eating the apple was what made god mad the snake tricked Adam. One eye is looking past the temptation but most of his face is covered because he is giving into temptation.

  17. In Rene Magritte’s painting entitled “The Son of Man”, a professional looking man is portrayed with a green apple being the center focus. After analyzing this painting closely I believe it has several meanings as well as many aspects of symbolism.

    The first thing I noticed about this painting is the green apple which Magritte makes the central focus of her piece. In my opinion I believe the apple symbolizes two different things. My first initial thought was that the apple represented greed or in some way is related to money. The man whose face is being covered by the apple is painted wearing an expensive looking suit with a hat. Could the apple be a symbolization of this man as well as man in general and the lust for wealth? Another connection I made was that the apple was an allusion to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. I believe the artist may be trying to portray the man as Adam trying to resist temptation. If the artist is using the apple as a symbol for both greed and temptation then I believe she wants her audience to see that man has a struggle with giving into the temptation of greed and wealth.

    Another aspect of the painting that stood out to me was the way the man in the panting is dressed and where he is placing his hands. Like the last painting we analyzed, good and evil were shown with the obvious difference in clothes and lighting. In Magritte’s piece the man is wearing a dark colored suit and hat that could represent evil, this idea would go along with the temptation symbolism in the apple. The man is also painted wearing a white undershirt which I believe means that although some people may be evil on the outside, good can be found deep within. The placement of the mans hands I found to be odd but I believe it goes with the story. His left hand is painted on the side of him while his right hand is slightly behind him. I believe the man might be trying to hide something but since his hand is behind him he is trying to put it in the past. In my opinion the artist was attempting to portray a theme of good and evil in these examples.

    The last part of the painting I noticed was the background. Gloomy clouds are painted above a clear sea and a wall. My initial thought when I observed the work was that the artist was trying to paint the confusion of the man. This goes along with the story because he is shown as both good, evil, tempted, and greedy, he is portrayed to have many confusing thoughts which is a good explanation for the gray clouds and clear sea. Lastly I believe the wall is a representation that there are obstacles in life and the man must overcome them to clear his confusion, sins, and his past, all things man goes through. Overall I believe the artist was trying to represent man in many different ways with the main focus being on temptation and the apple.

  18. In the painting The Son of Man by Rene Magritte shows a man with his face being blocked by an apple, on a bridged with the ocean and a storm as a scenery.
    The man can represent a business man that came from a farming. The apple on his face can represented the part that the son came from a farm family that their main crop were apples. When the son grew up he left the farm to the city to find a job and a new live in the city. He his educated which you can tell by his clothes. he might be an immigrant which the bridge represents him coming over seas to find a job in the city rather than keep on the farming business in another country. The apple could also mean that he is a close person and doesn’t want to show his true self, and his emotions or conflicts.
    Another way you can see this painting is by a religious point of view. In the bible son of man is a reference of son of god. It shows Jesus humanity when he becomes a man and leaves his god like life up above to be close with humanity to show them the right way to heaven. The apple shows where it all started, which is with Adam and Eve in the garden. It could also represent all the past relationships with biblical fathers and sons, such as Abraham and his son Issac, and others more.

  19. In Rene Magritte’s painting ”The Son of Man” there is different things that I’m able to depict in the painting. To start off with there is the apple right in front of his and that to me makes it seem as if the painter was trying to portray temptation because that apple is nice bright green and ready to eat but the man and his posture represents temptation too because it seems as if he wants to go towards the apple but is trying really hard not to. Another observation I had was that he was standing on a bridge behind the ocean and the sky was filled with dark clouds meaning that there’s a storm coming or that the storm is here and a storm usually means darkness and mess and if he is standing outside during a storm that means to me that in a way he is going through a difficult time in his life but yet again in the ocean it is clear. Maybe he has those moments that look like a storm but he always has those moments or things that happen and that clear it all up just like the clearness of the ocean. Regarding the type of clothes he’s wearing it means that he is a sophisticated man with class and/or has money. This brings something up in mind, that yes he might be a sophisticated man have money and a mansion but maybe he doesn’t have that one thing that he needs to clear up his sky to stop going through a storm and that can be the love of his life or his mother or father. It can be anything really but in the end this picture shows temptation and struggle/pain.

  20. This is a surreal painting which leaves plenty of room for interpretation. To start off with the obvious, there is an ordinary dressed man with a green apple covering his face. The man is I front of a short marble wall with his back to the ocean.
    “The Son of Man” seems to be depicted as a casual working class man. His face is blocked out because it allows him to remain anonymous. With that in mind, the viewer may imagine whatever they want this man to look like.
    The apple covering the man’s face can represent his nature. Green is associated with nature as well as jealousy. Both are fitting for this figure with the title, son of man.
    The backdrop also plays a part in giving meaning to this oil canvas. The marble wall is over looking the ocean which seems to be far below where the man is standing. This wall seems short and not adequate in protecting him from falling. This may indicate that the marble wall is incomplete much like man’s life. The jealousy that can be seen from the green apple can be explained by the emptiness the son of man feels. By extension, the identity of the man may be kept anonymous because it can be anyone.
    In the end, the viewer can infer that the painting is trying to say that people are jealous because their lives are empty.

  21. In the painting The Son of Man by Rene Magritte the first thing that pops out of the painting is the apple in front of the man. When I first saw it I was confused on what it meant and the symbolism behind it. Then I read the title The Son of Man and it made me think to the bible of the story of Adam and Eve. The son is Adam and the Man is God and in the painting the Adam is the man. The apple was really easy to identify once I made that comparison. I figured that the apple is the apple of knowledge from the tree of knowledge and the apple in front of Adam represents that he can’t see the truth about everything unless he eats the apple in front of him uncovering his sight. The painting is the representation of the story of Adam and Eve and the choice Adam makes wither to eat the apple to uncover the truth about everything or not to eat the apple and still have trust in God.

  22. The “Son of a Man” Rene Magritte, like all works of art, can be viewed and interpreted in countless ways. There is no one answer to the meaning of a work of art, it’s just like asking yourself what is the meaning of life, it is undefinable yet generalizable (yes that is a real word).

    The “Son of a Man” hits me pretty deeply, from my views, philosophies and ideologies this painting is painfully relatable. This man stands before the seemingly endless ocean pondering the vastness of the seemingly endless possibilities of his future. But before this man can step into this metaphorical ocean, his opportunity and desires are cut off, by a little brick wall. This little brick wall is the reminder, he mustn’t stray far from his duty, he has to carry on in this confined space, this confined ideology that which he must walk along the path as a son of a man. The little brick wall reaches up to his waist, he is extremely capable of stepping over this brick wall into freedom, but he’s already too far. Dressed for the occasion he turns around and realizes what he has to do, what he’s already doing, and finishes his moment of pondering to return to his work like his father before him. After all the fruit does not fall far from the tree.

    Another perspective with a lack of pessimism and depression.. This man is in fact dressed for an occasion, from first glance it’s safe to assume he is sharp, smart and professional. He’s most likely pondering his life, appreciating the opportunities and the roads paved before him by his father. He is composing himself and facing the vastness of his future, from body language you can see his left arm inch a little behind him indicating a hint of hesitation. But with his other hand he challenges that hesitation almost forming a fist. This man is looking forward into the situation he has been presented with as a composed professional, ready to spread his seed(from the metaphorical Apple, mind outta the gutter). He is an obdedient little fruit, ready to continue the legacy of which he was spawned. But this fruit has yet to ripen, thus it hasn’t fallen, if it has not fallen, it is literally still part of the metaphorical tree. Once reaching maturity it may change its views and once it’s fallen there’s no telling its direction.

    Another perspective with a pinch MORE pessimism and depression… This man sits before this breath taking view of the ocean, a businessman, a stereotypical man with a wife and children and an extremely comfortable financial standpoint. This businessman is an unripe fruit with branhes still attached, you see this man was snipped from the tree, for this tree was rotting at it’s base, this tree was corrupt and dying. This tree was going down quickly and with the tree fall the fruit, but this fruit was provided with a safe haven, this safe haven provided him the opportunities to go forth and change his legacy which was brought upon him. He had everything to prove and so he proved it, no matter the grotesque background of his father before him, he confidently took steps forward into the light. With this resolve he had everything to lose, and with this revolve as well as everything which could be lost.. He lost it, lost it all, deep inside he found rot and with his consent it quickly consumed him, in place of all which he worked so hard for despair was placed. The heaviest deaths and debts a man could find, with a step onto this brick wall and a leap of desperation, he fell into deep blue in search of relief.. After all the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  23. Rene Magritte’s painting ‘The Son of Man’ is unlike most portraits. If it weren’t for the bright green apple covering most of the man’s face, the painting would simply be a painting of a man standing in front of a body of water, with only a small brick wall separating man from nature.

    While the painting could be interpreted to have a religious meaning, I believe that Magritte was trying to show the world the character of a man and his struggle against nature and humanity.

    By dressing him in typical business-like-clothes (a suit with a white dress shirt and red tie), Magritte was trying to show that a man has hidden depths that are not out in the open. If the man of the painting was a man passing by in the streets, a person would assume that he was just another business many carrying on about his life. To do that would be a grave mistake however, because a business man is not just a business man; he is a man with a present, past, and future. He is a man who has preoccupations and responsibilities, moments of happiness and sorrow, material wealth and solitude. He is a man with a story that no one can even begin to understand if all they decide to judge him by are the clothes he wears.

    Furthermore, through the painting, we see that the man, like the most of us, tends to focus on the little details rather than the bigger picture. His bored posture symbolizes his disinterest in the rest of the beauty that can be found all around him. The man was standing in front of a huge body of water, which in itself was beautiful, but instead he was looking at the green apple, missing out on the beauty surrounding him.

    Yet his disinterest of the outside and focus on what is in front of him can be a good thing on his part too though. By taking a good look at what is in front of him, he shows that instead of focusing on all the outside distractions, he appreciates what is in front of him rather than being unsatisfied with what he has. This shows that a man may not focus on the outside beauty because he already finds plenty of beauty in the things he processes. He proves that he is not greedy of to focused on material goods despite his “business man” look that would probable lead an audience to think otherwise.

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