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    René Magritte – La Valse Hésitation (1955). UPDATE: THIS MADE €11,177,000

    René Magritte’s Masked Apples will make their auction debut at Sotheby’s in Paris on October 19 with an estimate of €10-15 million. This is the highest ever estimate for a work of art at Sotheby’s in France. La Valse hésitation depicts two masked apples shrouded in night-time shadows, against the backdrop of a bright blue sky peppered with Magritte’s characteristic clouds. The motif was conceived in the early 1950s, at the same moment as his most important series – L’Empire des Lumières – was similarly seeking to capture the paradox of day meeting night.

    The painting has not been seen in public since 1979, where it was the subject of an exhibition at the Galerie Isy Brachot, and has since been treasured in three private collections in the artist’s homeland of Belgium. It is coming to the open market for the first time. The apple is central to Magritte’s oeuvre – and the countless iterations he inspired in popular culture. Here, the apple – an intimate object familiar from the centuries-old artistic tradition of the still life and harking back to the Garden of Eden – is transformed into a mysterious, anthropomorphic character. With the addition of a simple mask, without any facial features, Magritte opens to the door to countless possibilities.

    Sotheby’s Paris Modernités auction on 19 October will present works by artists from the emergence of the European avant-garde to the Post-War period, showcasing the modernist movements across Europe and the overlapping dialogues within this rich artistic moment.

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