An Analysis on “The Lovers II” by Rene Magritte

The Lovers 2, 1928 by Rene Magritte

As a renowned surrealist, Rene Magritte leaves observers constantly thinking about the bizarre aspects of his paintings and what they could possibly signify. “The Lovers II” by Rene Magritte, is a painting created in 1928 and depicts two individuals in the midst of a kiss.

The main focus of this piece is that there is a fabric sheet covering both individuals heads, which restricts them from making any actual physical contact. Towards the back is a wall colored in various shades of blue. On the side, there is a red/brown wall which connects with the ceiling through the use of a light grey moulding. It is noticeable that there is no moulding that connects the blue wall with any surface, which suggests that this wall is not actually a wall, but rather an open space. Looking at the picture as a whole, we see a clear contrast between the outside and the inside.

I think that the contrast signifies the difference in the true feelings of a person and what they present themselves to be on the outside. Magritte is trying to convey that no matter what a person says or does on the outside, you can never know what they are truly thinking on the inside.

There are two types of love that I think relate to the situation in this picture, which are eros love and agape love. Eros love is the term used for sexual love or the feelings of arousal, and agape love is the term for unconditional or complete love. The action that these two individuals are taking represents the eros aspect of love, which is what they truly desire. What they present themselves to be is the aspect of agape love.

When looking at the blue space, we are able to see that there are hints of black all over the space. The color blue often symbolizes stability and inspiration, whereas the color black represents evil and darkness. We also see that the two individuals are seemingly surrounded by red walls, in which red represents passion. Through the use of these colors I think that Magritte shows how the desire of true love (agape love) can be corrupted by the aspirations of sexual love (eros love). Since the two individuals are only committed to sexual love and not true love, their actions are meaningless, as only a sense of lust exists within their relationship, which is why the individuals have their faces covered.

Ultimately, Magritte’s portrayal of love from the relationship of the two individuals leaves a strong resonance leaving one to think and ask about the reality of love.

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Ryan Suh

Ryan Suh

Student based in Seoul, South Korea.