L’Homme au journal (1928)

Magritte, René (1898-1967)

L’Homme au journal (Man with a Newspaper)
Oil on canvas, 115.6 x 81.3 cm
Tate BritainLondon

Magritte’s deadpan style is seen clearly in these four simply painted scenes. Each section seems to be exactly the same, apart from the disappearance of the man reading the newspaper. There are slight changes of perspective between the four panels. This can be seen by focusing on the view out of the windows. This shift adds to the slightly unsettling effect in the painting. It may relate to the displacement of images in early 3D viewing devices. This subtle undermining of the everyday was typical of Magritte and his Belgian surrealist colleagues. They preferred quiet subversion to obvious public action. (Tate)