Rene Magritte's Ciel-Bouteille will appear in surrealist sale



2018-02-12 14:40:42

This startling piece is among the first eight wine bottles Rene Magritte painted during the second world war.

Titled Ciel-Bouteille, it was originally sold to Belgian interiors store Norine in 1940.

Magritte is believed to have painted around 25 wine bottles in all, on and off until 1964.

Expert Sarah Whitfield explains in her introduction to Magritte’s 1992 show at the Hayward Gallery in London: “Magritte began painting on bottles during the Occupation, possibly in the autumn of 1940 when he wrote to Edward James telling him about his new idea.

“Some months later James, who had moved to America and was trying to find ways of helping Magritte, reminded him of that letter and suggested that a ready market for painted bottles was to be found in the States.

“’It’s New York taste exactly, and Hollywood’s too,’ he told him, and pointed out that New Yorkers, who were more sophisticated than Londoners, had long shown a taste for that sort of ‘fantasy’.”

Magritte’s Femme-bouteille sold for $725,000 at Christie’s in 2016.

The present specimen is expected to make up to £800,000 ($1.1m) when it sells as part of Sotheby’s surrealist art evening sale on February 28, which would represent a significant movement in Magritte’s price point.

This would be in line with the upwards trend we’ve been noticing, including the recent £15.2m ($18.9m) record for La Corde Sensible. 

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