Art: Enter the Stolid Enchanter

At Paris' Pompidou Center, a Renè Magritte retrospective

The show of more than 200 works by Renè Magritte—paintings, drawings and miscellaneous objets surrealistes —which opened last month at the Pompidou Center in Paris has been jammed with visitors ever since. It deserves its popularity. Magritte's strange paintings are still the best way into the territory of the free mind that surrealism called its own and named le merveilleux.

Magritte died in 1967, aged 68, but his work continues to serve its modern audience rather as the sultans of Victorian academic painting, the Friths and...

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