Landmark René Magritte painting could set new record in London



2017-02-09 15:29:54

A landmark painting by René Magritte could set a new world record next month, when it hits the auction block at Christie's in London.

The work will be one of the standout lots in the Art of the Surreal sale, which includes 35 lots spanning the history of Dada and Surrealism.

'La corde sensible', also known as 'Heartstrings', was painted in 1960 and is one of the largest works Magritte ever created, measuring four feet by five feet.

It depicts an enormous crystal glass stood in a verdant valley, with a cloud hovering gently above its rim like frothy champagne bubbles.

Magritte originally gave it as a gift to his wife Georgette, and it was later owned by Ronald Winston, son of the world-renowned diamond jeweller, Harry Winston.

'La corde sensible' will now be offered for sale for the first time since 1990, and is expected to fetch in the region of £14 - £18 million ($17.5 - $22.6 million), which would see it set a new auction record for the Belgian artist.

The current record price for a Magritte work was set back in 2002, when his 1952 painting L’Empire des lumières sold at Christie's for $12.65 million.

"The sale presents 16 of the leading Dada and Surreal artists in a carefully curated group of paintings and Surrealist objects from some of the most celebrated collections in the world," said Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie’s.

"René Magritte’s magnificent oil La corde sensible, painted in 1960, is an exquisite composition that eludes meaning or logical explanation and is poised to achieve a significant record for the artist. It is arguably the most striking and important Magritte work we have offered at auction since 2002."

Further highlights from the sale will include another important Magritte painting, Le domaine d’Arnheim, dating from 1938 and estimated at £6.5 - £8.5 million ($8.1 - $10.6 million); a group of seven works by Max Ernst, led by Portrait érotique voile, estimated at £1.5 - £2.5 million ($1.8 - $3.1 million); and notable works by the likes of Francis Picabia, Paul Delvaux, Jean (Hans) Arp and Alexander Calder.

The 16th Christie's Art of the Surreal Sale takes place in London on February 28.

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