Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate, Department of Art and Architecture, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Associated Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Isfahan. Isfahan, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Architecture, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran


Surrealists’ paintings are covered in puzzle-like images informed by a juxtaposition of fantasy and reality. They sought to combine dream and reality to unleash the untold hidden in their subconscious through creation of novel effects. The work of art chosen for review in this study is Magritte's The Human Condition (La condition humaine) painting. René Magritte has created two paintings with this same title‌,‌ the image of both of which are included in the article. The one addressed in this study is the painting depicting a room and the landscape visible through a window. In the first glance‌,‌ we see a landscape outside the window in the room. Through further examination‌,‌ however‌,‌ we realize that a part of the landscape is in fact a painting on canvas on a tripod. Which makes one wonder‌,‌ what was Magritte's purpose in creating this painting? Was he trying to create a puzzle? Was he aiming to mock the mind and perception of the spectator? Or is this something beyond a mind game? Therefore‌,‌ this study attempted to critically examine and conduct a phenomenological assessment of this painting. Through a deeper analysis and epoché on this painting‌,‌ it can be seen that it is more of a picture in picture puzzle than a depiction. Similar to other prominent artists‌,‌ René Magritte tried to create a universe to point us in the direction of a hidden truth behind the images; a truth that is understandable in the life of today's human beings.


Main Subjects

-   Berton‌,‌ Andre (1936) what is Surrealism: London: Faber and Faber.
-   Biggsby‌,‌ C. ‌,‌ & E. (1996) Dada Surrealism‌,‌ trans. Hassan Afshar‌,‌ Tehran: Markaz Publishing. (in persian)
-   Davari Ardakani (2011) Poets in the Time of Difficulty‌,‌ Abadan: Question Publications (in Persian)
-   Edgar‌,‌ Andrew and Sage Wick‌,‌ Peter (2008) Basic Concepts of Cultural Theories‌,‌ trans. Mehran Mohajer; Mohammad Nabavi‌,‌ Tehran: Agah Publications (in Persian)
-   Foucault‌,‌ Michel (1397) This Is not a pipe‌,‌ trans. Mani Haghighi‌,‌ Tehran: Markaz Publishing (in Persian)
-   Freud‌,‌ Sigmund (1924) A general introduction to Psychoanalysis‌,‌ trans. Joan Riviere.
-   Freud‌,‌ Sigmund (1982) Dream Interpretation‌,‌ trans. Iraj Pourbagher‌,‌ Tehran: Asia Publications (in Persian)
-   Halimi‌,‌ Mohammad Hossein (2004) A Perspective on Painting Methods (Renaissance to Contemporary Art),Tehran: Revival Book Publishing Company (in Persian)
-   Heidegger‌,‌ Martin (2000) The Age Of The World Picture‌,‌ trans. Hamid Talebzadeh‌,‌ Tehran: Philosophy Quarterly‌,‌ University of Tehran‌,‌ No. 1 (in Persian)
-   Heidegger‌,‌ Martin (2013) The Origin of the Work of Art‌,‌ trans. Parviz Zia Shahabi‌,‌ Tehran: Hermes Publications (in Persian)
-   Lee Marie‌,‌ Jean et al. (1351) From Impressionism to Abstract Art‌,‌ trans. Rouin Pakbaz et al.‌,‌ Tehran: Iran Kandriz Hall Publications (in Persian)
-   Lucy Smith‌,‌ Edward (2005) Concepts and Approaches in the Last Art Movements of the Twentieth Century‌,‌ Tehran: Nazar Publications (in Persian)
-   Magritte‌,‌ R. La condition humaine. Overview. National Gallery of Art,‌ Washington DC. Museum of Modern Art. (n. d. ).
-   Nitansha‌,‌ Nema (2017) “Psychology in Art: The Influence of Freudian Theories on surrealist “in the International Journal of Indian psychology, Vol. 4 Issue 4.
-   Pakbaz‌,‌ Rubin (2013) In Search of a New Language‌,‌ Tehran: Negah Publications. (in Persian)
-   Rahspar‌,‌ AI (1344) Modern Painting (from Impressionism to Cubism),Tehran: Ziba Printing House (in Persian)
-   Reed‌,‌ Herbert (1985) A Brief History of Modern Painting‌,‌ trans. Ahmad Karimi‌,‌ Tehran: Papyrus Publishing (in Persian)
-   Safian‌,‌ Mohammad Javad (2017) Memories with Hafez and Heidegger,‌ Tehran: Farhang Naqd Publishing (in Persian)
-   Seyed Hosseini‌,‌ Reza (1353) Literary Schools‌,‌ in 2 vol. (Volume II)‌,‌ Tehran: Nil Publications (in Persian)
-   Siebte Auflage (1986) Vittorio Klostermann GmbH, insbesondere das der Übersetzung‌,‌ vorbehalten Gedruckt in Deutschland.
-   Torczyner‌,‌ Harry (1977) Quoted in Ideas and Image. New York: Magrritte.