Son of Man.
 Magritte, René, 1898-1967

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Title:Son of Man

The Son of Man is an elusive concept, but one that was central to Jesus' understanding of his role and identity on earth. Artists throughout the millennia have offered their visual representations of this god-form. A 20th century interpretation is presented here in a painting by the renowned artist, Rene Magritte. He describes his own visual representation this way:

"At least it hides the face partly. Well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It's something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present."[1] In a radio interview with Jean Neyens (1965), cited in Torczyner, Magritte: Ideas and Images, trans. Richard Millen (New York: Harry N. Abrams), p.172.

PRINTING AND IMAGE SIZE NOTE: This painting is held in a private collection, and to our knowledge, no high resolution image is available elsewhere.

Artist:Magritte, René, 1898-1967
Building:Private collection

Scripture:Luke 21:25-36
Person as Subject:Son of Man (Biblical figure)
Lectionary links:CAdvt01
General Subject:Apple

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Copyright Permission:This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to use and to share the file for non-commercial purposes under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license compatible with this one. For uses other than the above, contact the Divinity Library at
Attribution:Magritte, René, 1898-1967. Son of Man, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved February 19, 2018]. Original source:
Record Number:54188 Last Updated: 2017-10-31 11:28:34 Record Created: 2009-02-02 14:12:08
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition