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Surrealist artist Rene Magritte’s work to go under hammer for $64M

17:22, February 5

A work by renowned surrealist artist Rene Magritte that has not been seen in public for a quarter of a century could be sold at auction for $64 million.

Christie's auction house has announced that it will put up for auction on March 7 in London the painting "L'ami intime" ("Close Friend"), which is dedicated to the centenary of the surrealist movement in art.

рене.jpg (56 KB)

The painting includes several of the Belgian artist's signature motifs, including a man in a bowler hat and fluffy white clouds against a blue sky. In this 1958 painting, the man is depicted from the back of his head, facing a hilly landscape. There is a baguette and a wine glass float in the foreground.

Christie's deputy chairman of impressionism and modern art, Olivier Camus, said the "very poetic, very dreamy" painting was among the few most important works by Magritte in private hands.

Last unveiled to the public in Brussels in 1998, it is being offered at auction for the first time since 1980, and it has a pre-sale estimate of $38 million to $64 million.

“Magritte never explained anything,” Camus said—even the names of his paintings were suggested by friends. “There is no sign of religion, special history or anything else in Magritte. These are absolutely conceptual, pure, powerful, disturbing, wonderful, silent paintings. They are available to everyone," he added.


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