It is impossible to overlook the influence of René Magritte (1898-1967) on contemporary art. His surrealistic painting turns the usual order of things ironically on its head, thus restoring mystery to a world that has lost its magic. His work typically conveys a sense of the amazing, the surprising, and the ridiculous—but also the unsettling. Without a specific message, Magritte’s paintings nonetheless speak to us, creating a connection between opposites on an associative level. Thus a dinner roll can, with complete naturalness, fly past a barred dungeon opening. In discussing his art, Magritte spoke of "inspired thoughts": he was indeed a painter-philosopher who thought in pictorial form and moved with seemingly playful lightness in the exalted atmosphere of his own imagination.