Miro’s blue star sells for record breaking £23.5m
As expected, the 19th June Sotheby’s auction of Joan Miro’s masterpiece Etoile Bleue at Sotheby’s set a new record for the artist.
The 1927 Peinture (Etoile Bleue) was tipped to surpass the record £16.8m Miro sale of Painting-Poem (1925). After a tense bidding war between four keen collectors, the gavel fell at an astounding £23,651,250 – the highest price paid for a work of art in London so far this year.
The sale also demonstrated the rising interest in abstract and surrealist work, fetching over three times the price realised for the same painting at a Paris sale five years previous.
Spanish Catalan painter Joan Miro (1893-1983) was inspired by traditional Spanish surrealism and magical realism. This painting, Peinture (Etoile Bleue), was part of his dream series, key to the development of his style. It demonstrates a move away from his earlier, busy paintings, presenting a rich, sparse, trancelike vista.
This abstract dreamscape, the fathomless blue of his unconscious mind, led an Impressionist and Modern Art Sotheby’s sale that totalled a grandiose £75,046,850.
Pablo Picasso’s Homme Assis (1972), painted a year before his death and anticipated as the second in line, was sold within its estimate for £6,201,250. Pierre Bonnard’s Nu Debout likewise fetched an expected £4,521,250, but Henry Moore’s sculpture Mother and Child with Apple exceeded its estimate to achieve £3,737,250.
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