Rare Salvador Dalí masterpiece heads Sotheby's Surrealist sale
A rare masterpiece by Salvador Dalí will lead a forthcoming sale of Surrealist Art at Sotheby's in London on March 1.
Dalí's 'Moment de transition' was painted in 1934, during the most creative period of his life in which he created his most famous imagery.
The majority of his most important works painted during the 1930s are held in museum collections, and only a handful have appeared at auction over the past decade.
Like many of Dalí's works from this period, 'Moment de transition' features an empty, melancholic landscape reminiscent of his Catalan childhood. Details including a horse and cart are seen, upon closer inspection, to be optical illusions, representing the shifting reality of memory and dreams.
Having been originally owned by the enigmatic British art dealer and patron Peter Watson, a founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, the painting now comes to the market with an estimate of £6 - £8 million.
Another standout lot from the sale is Rene Magritte's 'Le Repas de noces', a gouache work on paper regarded as the finest of its kind to appear at auction in years.
Created during a turbulent time in Magritte's life, during which he fled Belgium following the German invasion in 1940, the work features a majestic lion sat menacingly in front of a breakfast table containing a single egg.
Having remained in the same private collection for almost 50 years, 'Le Repas de noces' is estimated to sell for £900,000-£1.2 million.
Further highlights from the sale will include Francis Picabia's 1930 watercolour 'Ino', estimated at £500,000 - £700,000; Paul Delvaux's 1966 work 'Filles au bord de l’eau', estimated at £1.7 - £2.2 million; and Jean Arp's 1931 white marble sculpture 'Torse', estimated at £2.5 - £3.5 million.
"This season’s Surrealist offering comprises remarkable works selected to represent the key names of the movement at their best – from Dalí to Delvaux,” said James Mackie, Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department in London.
"The market for Surrealist art continues to go from strength to strength, and mirroring the growth in the global appreciation of these works, we’ve seen numerous auction records for the most celebrated Surrealist masters achieved at Sotheby’s over the last five years."
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