Rene Magritte Son of Man Meaning

Discover the hidden meanings behind Rene Magritte’s iconic painting ‘Son of Man’ and unravel the mysteries of the human psyche.

The Enigmatic Painting

Rene Magritte’s ‘Son of Man’ is one of his most famous paintings, depicting a man in a suit with a green apple covering his face. The painting, created in 1964, has intrigued art enthusiasts for decades due to its enigmatic nature and hidden meanings.

The Green Apple

The green apple in the painting is a recurring motif in Magritte’s work, symbolizing the barrier between reality and perception. It represents the concept of hidden truth and the mysteries of the human mind.

The Man in the Bowler Hat

The man in the painting wearing a bowler hat has been interpreted as Magritte’s self-portrait, representing the artist himself hiding behind a facade. The faceless figure invites viewers to question the true identity of the man and ponder their own hidden selves.

The Meaning of ‘Son of Man’

The title ‘Son of Man’ has biblical connotations, referring to humanity as a whole and the existential questions that plague us all. Magritte’s use of this title adds a layer of depth to the painting, inviting viewers to contemplate their own existence and the complexities of the human experience.

Interpretations and Speculations

  • Some viewers believe that the green apple represents original sin and the forbidden knowledge of the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
  • Others see the man in the bowler hat as a symbol of conformity and societal expectations, with the apple obscuring his individuality.
  • Psychologists suggest that the painting explores themes of identity, perception, and the subconscious mind.


Rene Magritte’s ‘Son of Man’ continues to mystify and captivate audiences with its cryptic symbolism and thought-provoking imagery. The painting challenges viewers to look beyond the surface and delve into the deeper meanings hidden within its enigmatic composition.

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