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Magritte used the image of a man wearing a bowler hat in several of his paintings. This painting is perhaps not as well known as other paintings by Magritte, nevertheless, it is easily identified as a painting by Magritte and recalls the well known painting The Son of Man, 1964.
Observe the painting and its details. The man' face is covered, just as if the dove flew into the frame just as Magritte "snapped" the picture. The bird is flying from the man's left to his right, towards the light. We do not see the man's eyes yet we see the bird's left eye; in the painting The Son of Man, 1964 we can see the man's left eye. And the man's tie is a pale pink compared to the bright red tie that appears in The Son of Man, 1964. And unlike that painting, this painting is a closeup "shoulder" shot of the man. Look at the blue background behind him; is that the sky or is he sitting in front of a backdrop for a portrait?
It was the mystery, the sense of wonder, that attracted Magritte and made him so different from most of his fellow Surrealists. Where Joan Miro espoused the "automatic" approach, letting the unconscious determine the line, and Dali reached into the dreamworld, returning to three-dimensional and figurative art in his later work, Magritte kept rigidly to his canon of flat dimensions and frozen images. What he wanted, and what he achieves in his best work, was not so much to challenge the viewer as to intrigue him into seeing life liberated from the concrete and the present.