This is not a nude woman in a mirror

This is not a nude woman in a mirrorRene Magritte made this one, "Les liasons dangereuses", in 1936.


(Click to enlarge)

Rene Magritte is known for his surreal paintings which contrast illusion and reality.

At first, this painting may look like a naked woman holding a mirror which contains a reflected image of herself.

But it’s an optical illusion. And a puzzle.

The image can’t actually be a realistic reflection of her own body, since her "real" body is covered by the mirror.

Or is she holding a piece of transparent glass we can see through?

But then why is her body facing a different direction?

Maybe she’s holding a painting of herself that looks like a mirror?

And if it is a "real" woman holding a "real" image, and we see the shadow behind her, what happened to the shadow of her hand?

So, Mr. Art Critic, what does this painting actually mean?

Well, Magritte explained it this way: his paintings were mysterious, and they didn’t mean anything, because, he said, you can’t know what a mystery means.

This is not a nude woman in a mirrorIf we crop out the "mirror" part of the painting, maybe Magritte was merely painting three different images of a nude woman.

This is not a nude woman in a mirrorI took the yellowish color out of this image. Since original art can turn more yellow with time, did the original look more like this?(Click to enlarge)

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