Art: Up in Smoke

Georges Rouault, the 77-year-old French modern whose paintings glow like hot coals, burned up 315 of them last week. He had gotten them back, along with 400 others, from the heirs of Dealer Ambroise Vollard, on a legal technicality (TIME, July 22, 1946). His argument: the dealer was entitled only to his finished pictures, and since he had never signed the pictures, they were unfinished and therefore his own property.

Rouault has a habit of keeping his paintings locked up in his studio for years on end, signing them only when he is sure he cannot improve them by so much as...

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