Rene Magritte was influenced by fellow artists, including Jean Metzinger and Fernand Leger, during his early work, and Giorgio de Chirico later on. Magritte was also inspired by a group of surrealists, including Andre Breton, Max Ernst and Salvador Dali.
Magritte was profoundly influenced by two people and events in his childhood. One was an encounter with an artist painting in a cemetery, which imbued him with a sense of magic. The other major influence was the suicide of his mother by drowning when he was just 14 years old. According to legend, Magritte witnessed the recovery of his mother's body from the river, and the image of her covered face recurred in the artist's work throughout his life.