A three-day art auction in Paris pays tribute to visionary New York art dealer Julian Levy, whose private collection reflects his passion for the Surrealist movement and its art.

Among the more than 800 drawings and paintings on the block at Paris' famed Tajan auction house are works by the Paris leaders of Surrealism, including Salvadore Dali and Arshile Gorky, whose paintings are among the highest valued works at the sale.

Commercially, these artists were not great successes. But artistically, their influence would prove considerable - which art critics say speaks to just how far ahead of his time Mr. Levy was.

Julian Levy was the pre-eminent dealer of modern art throughout the 1940s. Art enthusiasts say his passion for Surrealist movement and its art changed the course of American artistic culture.