Before he became famous, Rene Magritte was actually a forger! (Sorry to say this Magritte fans).

But history remembers him as a surrealist artist who had to wait until he was in his 50s to achieve recognition. He is now known internationally and remains highly popular. He liked the fact that his paintings inspired questions in the viewer's mind. In that respect he was observing the Surrealist's code, to portray the mysterious, the mystical and the unthinkable.

He was born in 1898, to a wealthy manufacturer father. Sadly1912, his mom was found drowned in the River Sambre. She had committed suicide, and the family were was publicly shamed because of it. In 1916 Rene went to study at the Academie des Beaux-Art, in Brussels. All his paintings after that time were blatantly in the style of Cubism. In 1922 he married Georgette, and took a number of jobs, including painting designs for a wallpaper company.

During this time, shortly following his marriage, Rene Magritte would spend his free time creating art forms and worked on a number of art pieces. He had an epiphany when he realised that surrealism was the art form which he enjoyed the most. 'The Menaced Assassin' was one of his earliest pieces in 1926, which showcased the surrealist style that he had developed. 'The Lost Jockey' was another piece done in 1925,demonstrating his technique. Over the course of his career, he produced a number of variations on this piece. As he said, 'Everything we see hides another thing...' Clearly he was intrigued by the mysteries of life.

In 1927, Rene Magritte had his first one man show at the Galerie la Centaurie in Brussels. During this time, he was producing one piece of art work each day, and experimented with several unique styles for the enjoyment of visitors at the exhibition. But critics were not impressed so he moved to Paris.

Art at that time, art was influenced by the writings of psychologist Sigmund Freud, especially Surrealism which wanted to drill into the unconscious. Surrealism also embraced a Marxist ideology and became politicised.

After moving to Paris, Rene Magritte go to know artist Andre Breton, the founder of Surrealism, and was also influenced by de Chirico's paintings. Between 1910 and 1920, Magritte painted erotically explicit objects in dreamlike surroundings. However, to Magritte, what is hidden is more important than what is open to view. He explored this idea in his work, hiding objects in his paintings to achieve an effect of alienation. Examples are The Invention of Life, The Lover, and The Central Story. In fact these can be regarded as his major works.

During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II, Magritte stayed in Brussels, which led to a fallout with Breton. Possibly as an antidote to what was happening in the world and his life, Magritte briefly adopted a colourful, painterly style. To support himself Magritte created fake paintings in the style of Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, and Cezanne. His brother continued with the enterprise. Rene himself would also put a twist on famous paintings, adding his own elements to existing works.

Rene Magritte stayed in Brussels for the remainder of his life. During most of his career, his work followed the Surrealist style, and he rarely strayed away from this discipline. In addition he also produced some sculptures.

He died in 1967 of pancreatic cancer, but much of the work of Rene Magritte is still on display. Not only did he create a new style, he was a leader in Surrealism. Probably his most well-known and recognisable piece if the conceptual painting of a pipe, which is entitled - 'This is not a pipe.' Along with Dali's Persistence of Memory, Magritte's works - The Son of Man and The Treachery of Images, have become iconic images of the movement. He is now regarded as a major artist who broke new ground.