This major new book on René Magritte offers fresh interpretations of the artist's use of symbols and imagery to articulate his particular brand of surrealism. In this beautiful monograph, a collection of revelatory essays focuses on five common images in René Magritte's work―fire, shadows, curtains, words, and the fragmented body. Featuring vibrant reproductions of more than 100 works, this book helps readers understand how the artist employed these images in ways both deceptive and realistic. The book explores how he distorted accepted interpretations of classic symbols; why he so often used words as elements of his paintings; and how he applied aspects of the theater in his works. As Magritte's paintings have become subsumed by the very commercialism they sought to ridicule, this volume takes a fresh look at an artist whose familiarity masks an incredible gift for deception and rapier-like intellect.