Rene Magritte is an impressionist painter who was born in Lessines, in the province of Hainaut, Belgium, in 1898. This painting represents "Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see."
Magritte's work frequently displays a collection of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. The use of objects as other than what they seem is typified in his painting, such as the bird covering the man's face.
Magritte painted the pipe "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("This is not a pipe"), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe.
He used this same method when painting the bird. Magritte points out that no matter how naturalistic-ally we depict an object, we never do catch the item itself.