Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Magritte’


    Monday, July 31st, 2023
    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.


    Friday, March 4th, 2022
    Rene Magritte – L’empire des lumières.

    Magritte’s L’empire des lumières (1961) made £59,422,000 ($79.8 million) at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary evening auction. This was the highest price ever paid for a painting in GBP in Europe and it tripled the artist’s record. The paradox at its core, as in all of Magritte’s best work, is the artist probing an inherently magical quality as the opposite of our everyday. ‘I have always felt the greatest interest in night and day, without however having any preference for one or the other,’ noted Magritte. ‘This great personal interest in night and day is a feeling of admiration and astonishment.

    Claude Monet’s limpid  Nympheas (1914–1917) – described by the artist as being ‘the illusion of an endless whole, of a watery surface with no horizon and no shore… made £23,228,500.

    (See post on for February 16, 2022)


    Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

    NO less than five works by Claude Monet and a 1961 masterwork by René Magritte will highlight Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary evening auction in London on March 2. The sale spans Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Monet x Monet from an American collection presents five works by Claude Monet (with estimates of from £1.2 million to £15 million) painted during a formative fifteen-year period during his career, charting the artist’s pivot from an Impressionist painter to the father of Abstract Expressionism. 

    Claude Monet – Les Demoiselles de Giverny. UPDATE: THIS WAS THE ONLY ONE OF THE MONET’S TO REMAIN UNSOLD

    Magritte’s L’empire des lumières captures the visual paradox that lies at the heart of the artist’s originality. The instantly recognisable work was created in 1961 for Baroness Anne-Marie Gillion Crowet, the daughter of Magritte’s patron the Belgian Surrealist collector Pierre Crowet, and has remained in the family ever since.

    Rene Magritte – L’empire des lumières. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 59,422,000 GBP

    Here is a video from Sotheby’s about the Monet’s in the sale:


    Thursday, January 13th, 2022
    René Magritte, L’empire des lumières, 1961

    René Magritte’s L’empire des lumières captures the visual paradox that lies at the heart of the artist’s originality. With an estimate in excess of $60 million this masterpiece of 20th century art will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary evening auction in London on March 2. It has been on loan to the Musée Magritte in Brussels from 2009-2020. It was created in 1961 for Baroness Anne-Marie Gillion Crowet, the daughter of Magritte’s patron the Belgian Surrealist collector Pierre Crowet, and has remained in the family ever since. 


    Friday, January 10th, 2020

    Rene Magritte’s A la rencontre du plaisir (Towards Pleasure) comes up at Christie’s Surreal auction in London on February 5. It combines several if his most iconic motifs into a single, evocative image, creating an elegant summation of the poetic imagination which fuelled his unique form of Surrealism. Purchased directly from the artist shortly after its creation, the painting has remained in the same family collection for over half a century, and is coming to auction for the first time and is estimated at £8-12 million.

    René Magritte, À la rencontre du plaisir UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £18.9 million


    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    René Magritte – La corde sensible

    A combined total of £136,874,598 was realised at the Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale and Art of the Surreal  which launched 20th Century at Christie’s in London last night. The top lot was Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La maison) which made £20,325,000. René Magritte’s La corde sensible set a new world record at auction for the artist of £14,441,348. The evening saw an electric start with lively bidding for Portrait de Lluis Alemany, a work dating from the very beginning of Picasso’s career (£773,000), and continued with Berthe Morisot’s Femme en noir or Avant le théâtre which achieved £2,045,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £600,000-800,000 and Femme et enfant au balcon also by Morisot, which more than doubled its high estimate to realise £4,085,000.

    The nine further works from the personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht, including paintings by Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Félix Vallotton, each sold above estimate with the group totalling £15,945,000 to date. All proceeds are to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen.  There was sell through rates of 92% by lot and 96% by value and registered bidders from 39 countries across five continents demonstrate continued global interest from buyers with notable bidding from Asia.


    Sunday, January 31st, 2016

    An exceptional painting by Henri Matisse  is a highlight at Sotheby’s in London on February 3.  The Impressionist and Modern Art and Surrealist evening sales feature a variety of masterpieces.  The Matisse – entitled La Lecon de piano – has emerged after 85 years in a private collection and is estimated at £12-18 million. Here is a quick preview:

    (See posts on for January 27, 2016 and December 23, 2015)

    Rene Magritte - Sheherazade (£500,000-700,000).

    Rene Magritte – Sheherazade (£500,000-700,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE £785,000

    Paul Signac - Voile dans la brume. Canal de la Giudecca (£850,000-1.2 million).

    Paul Signac – Voile dans la brume. Canal de la Giudecca (£850,000-1.2 million).  UPDATE: THIS  SOLD FOR £1,025,000

    Francis Picabia - Le Ventilateur (£1.8-2.5 million,

    Francis Picabia – Le Ventilateur (£1.8-2.5 million,  UPDTE: THIS MADE £2.3 MILLION

    Rene Magritte - L'usage de la parole (£500,000-700,000).

    Rene Magritte – L’usage de la parole (£500,000-700,000).   UPDATE: THIS MADE £965,000