The Treachery of Images is a painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte.
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!" -René Magritte.
Magritte painted The Treachery of Images when he was 30 years old. 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.
The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by para-language. Compare with Korzybski's "The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory".