Culture

The 1960s brought a great increase in public awareness of Magritte’s work. One of the means by which his imagery became familiar to a wider public was through reproduction on rock album covers; early examples include the 1969 album Beck-Ola by the Jeff Beck group (reproducing Magritte’s The Listening Room), and Jackson Browne’s 1974 album, Late for the Sky, with artwork inspired by Magritte’s L’Empire des Lumieres.

Alan Hull of UK folk-rock band Lindisfarne used Magritte’s paintings on two solo albums in 1973 and 1979. Styx adapted Magritte’s Carte Blanche for the cover of their 1977 album The Grand Illusion, while the cover of Gary Numan’s 1979 album The Pleasure Principle, like John Foxx’s 2001 The Pleasures of Electricity, was based on Magritte’s painting Le Principe du Plaisir.

Rock band Jethro Tull mention Magritte in a 1976 lyric, and Paul Simon’s song “Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War” appears on the 1983 album Hearts and Bones. Paul McCartney, a life-long fan of Magritte, owns many of his paintings, and claims that a Magritte painting inspired him to use the name Apple for the Beatles’ media corporation. Magritte is also the subject and title of a John Cale song on Cale’s 2003 album HoboSapiens.Rene Magritte - The Son of Man

Numerous films have included imagery inspired by Magritte. The Son of Man, in which a man’s face is obscured by an apple, is referenced in the 1992 film Toys, the 1999 film The Thomas Crown Affair and in the 2004 short film Ryan. The same motif also appears in Michael Jackson’s music video “Scream”. In the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees, Magritte is alluded to by Bernard Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman) as he holds a bowler hat. According to Ellen Burstyn in the 1998 documentary “The Fear of God: 25 Years of ‘The Exorcist'” the iconic poster shot for the film The Exorcist was inspired by Magritte’s L’Empire des Lumieres.

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In Spain, a surrealistic, imaginative and award-winning TV childrens show “El Planeta Imaginario” (The Imaginary Planet) (1983-1986), dedicated two episodes to Rene Magritte; “M, el extrano viajero” (M, the strange traveller) and “La Quimera” (The Chimera).

Hanging above a fireplace on the set of the television show Good Eats is a painting of a turkey floating in a blue sky with a bowler hat floating above it, another homage to Magritte’s The Son of Man, which is also referenced in the Treehouse of Horror IV episode of The Simpsons.

Magritte’s painting The Treachery of Images is referred to in The Forbidden Game: The Chase, a book by L.J. Smith, in which the difference between image and reality becomes key to solving the entire conflict. The same painting (and its caption, This is not a pipe) inspired a graphic in the video game Rayman Raving Rabbids. The online game Kingdom of Loathing refers to this painting, as well as to The Son of Man.