René Magritte’s The Lovers

The Lovers I & The Lovers II

Belgian artist, René Magritte is one of my favourite surrealist painters. His paintings attempt to evoke emotion while never revealing the meaning of the weird art. ‘The Lovers’ (both pieces) are the most fascinating of his works – for me anyway. When I look at the two pieces the first thing that pops out is the fact that both people are yearning for love but are so oblivious to what is right in front of them.

This mentality is so common in today’s society.  People are so self absorbed thatthese paintings always ring true. The Lovers have been interpreted many times and appears in many different mediums. Two modern rock albums come to mind straight away. The Mars Volta’s ‘Frances the Mute’ and Funeral for a Friend’s ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation’. The cover of Funeral for a Friend’s album is the more interesting of the two. If you look closely at the artwork you can see that the lovers are sitting on the rocks overlooking a storm’ representing the turmoils of life and how sometimes this gets in the way of love.

Of course with all art, people will interpret it differently; this is my interpretation and a little food for thought.

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8 thoughts on “René Magritte’s The Lovers”

  1. Fascinating (said with my best pointy ears). I’ve never seen these before and know nothing of Magritte, but his work is disturbing, and thought-provoking.

    What you say is so true, though. People are so self-absorbed, never satisfied with what they see, always assuming something better is waiting for them someplace else.

  2. I’m not very familiar with his works. However, the ones I have seen are very powerful.

    I like your interpretation of The Lovers. Another one I thought of is, “love is blind”. As the two lean over to kiss each other in the second version, I see them yearning for each other. They wear the masks because it doesn’t matter what they look like on the outside. They don’t need to see with their eyes.

  3. Or perhaps, even lovers who think they know each other so well, never really know the person behind the mask/hood. How honest are we normally with others? Or if not dishonest, how much do we hold back for fear of being judged or censured?

  4. I just thought they were being kinky :P

    As you say there’s many ways of interpreting it. They could be saying that love is faceless and the base of all without using creepy doll-style faces. Personally I think I go with Digital Dames interpretation.

    I think both albums, while based on the same original paintings, each took the idea and went in differing directions and meanings. Funeral for a Friend is closer to the original for me. I see it as though they are connected they may not even know the other exists. They’re not touching so it shows a separation. Maybe the coverings being connected shows them of one mind, or similarities in thoughts but without the covers there is nothing to join them as they don’t know about the other.

    But that’s just me :D

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