Art World Has Nearly Solved 80-Year-Old Jigsaw Puzzle

René Magritte apparently cut 'The Enchanted Pose' into pieces
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2016 5:00 PM CDT
Piece of Painting Missing 80 Years Turns Up in Britain
This black-and-white photo of "The Enchanted Pose" by Rene Magritte is the only image of the painting that disappeared in nearly 80 years ago. A piece of the missing painting was just discovered in Britain.   (Rene Magritte)

An "exciting art world jigsaw puzzle" is nearly complete after the third piece of a painting by Belgian artist René Magritte missing for more than 80 years was recently discovered hiding at the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Britain, the Guardian reports. Magritte's The Enchanted Pose was part of a 1927 exhibition, but no one purchased it, and it was returned to Magritte. Since 1932, its whereabouts have been unknown, leaving behind only a single black-and-white photograph as evidence. In 2013, two pieces of The Enchanted Pose—which shows two nude women standing next to each other—were discovered hidden beneath other Magritte paintings in the US and Sweden. The discovery of the third piece, the lower right corner, was announced Thursday.

The new piece of The Enchanted Pose was discovered by art conservator Alice Tavares da Silva, who was inspecting a Magritte painting called The Human Condition before it was loaned out to another museum. She discovered paint on the side of the canvas under the frame that didn't match the painting itself. Artnet News reports it's rare for a Magritte work to have paint on the edges. An X-ray of The Human Condition revealed it was painted over a piece of The Enchanted Pose. Tavares da Silva calls it a "hugely exciting discovery." According to the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, it now appears Magritte cut The Enchanted Pose into four equal pieces for unknown reasons, then painted over them. But there's still one piece of the puzzle missing. (A Degas painting panned as discolored hid secret image.)

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