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This is Not a Pipe

Updated on September 29, 2015

Michel Foulcault's book from a Rene Magritte painting

Famous French philosopher and Historian Michel Foulcault wrote this book inspiring from a canvas of Rene Magritte. The artist painted a pipe and wrote "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" meaning "this is not a pipe" under the drawing. .

In this book Foucault defends the idea that people accept things without thinking. A visual representation, Margitte's pipe drawing combined with the painted words "This is not a pipe," questions visual representation itself, in reality painting on a canvas is not actually a pipe, but a depiction of a pipe..

Welcome to the world of surrealism:))

Foulcault 's book explains...

Rene Magritte
Rene Magritte

A Thinker who uses his paintings

Magritte's art is difficult to understand as he is like all surrealists provocative and destroys the believes about art, artist, aesthetics and changeless us about images, perceptions, reality and how you present it.

Foucault in his book says; Representation, logic are questioned in Rene Magtitte's work or art. Before the modern art in the classical art, it is believed that representation is copying of the real thing. If it is masterly done, It is as good and as real as the real object. But Magritte argues this perception. When he paints a pipe and writes this is not a pipe. He says representation is not as real as the original. It is something else. It is a creation of a different object. a different reality.

The standard audience is uneasy with Magritte's work, in fact all Modern art work. As those all makes us think. What is reality? Are all our perceptions false?

René Magritte defined himself as a thinker (philosopher) who used paint to explore philosophical issues. He had read Heidegger and Sartre, and as Foucault'ss Les mots et les chooses,published a few years before his death, he read the book too.

Magritte wrote to Foucault in 1966:

“It is as completely invisible as pleasure or pain. But painting interposes a problem: there is the thought that sees and can be visible described. Las Meninas is the visible image of Velásquez’s invisible thought? Then is the invisible sometimes visible? on condition that thought be constituted exclusively of visible images.”

This is not a pipe in Amazon

This Is Not a Pipe: 25th Anniversary Edition (Quantum Books) [

Main Idea of the Book

In Magritte's work language and imagining an object cancels each other. Since Renaissance realistic painting is the exact copy of the real object and language was used to name and affirm the reality of the painting. Here Rene Magritte destroys all the thinking system and questions what is "reality" and the tools we explain" the real."

Surrealism and Magritte

Michel Foucault

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