Rene Francois Ghislain Magritte was a Surrealist artist, born in Lessines, Belgium. In 1912, Magritte's mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the river Sambre. He studied at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels for two years until 1918. During this period he met Georgette Berger, whom he married in 1922.
Magritte produced his first surrealist painting, Le jockey perdu in 1926, and held his first exhibition in Brussels in 1927. The exhibition was not a success: critics heaped abuse on it. He was depressed by the failure of his show and he moved to Paris, France. A technician at heart, his work frequently contains a ordinary objects grouped together or in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. This representational use of objects as other than what they seem is typified by his paintings. In addition to these fantastic elements, his work is often witty and amusing, and he created a number of surrealist versions of other famous paintings.
Rene Magritte died on August 15, 1967 and was buried in Schaarbeek Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium.