René Magritte was born in Belgium on this day, November 21st, in the year 1898. He was known as a surrealist artist who painted thought provoking and witty images that some have called poetic.

You might recognize his painting “The Treachery of Images” –a painting of a pipe which reads “Ceci n'est pas une pipe” and translates to “This is not a pipe” 

Of this work, he said:

 “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!”

By placing familiar images in unfamiliar contexts or intentionally creating odd juxtapositions, he challenged our perceptions of reality and the world’s preconceived notions of art. And so today, we commemorate his contribution to the world of art and philosophy. 

Happy 119th Birthday Magritte!