The picture shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe."
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!
Magritte painted The Treachery of Images when he was 30 years old. It is currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His statement is taken to mean that the painting itself is not a pipe; it is merely an image of a pipe. Hence, the description, "this is not a pipe." The theme of pipes with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is extended in his 1966 painting, Les Deux Mystères.