Monday, March 9, 2015

René Magritte at Auction Part II

Sotheby's 2017

René Magritte
Le Repas de noces
gouache on paper
Executed in 1940.
Estimate: £900,000-1,200,000

The finest gouache by Magritte to appear on the market in recent times, Le Repas de noces has remained in the same private collection for almost 50 years. This work originates from a
turbulent period of Magritte’s life, as he fled Brussels for France fearing political persecution
following the German invasion. The artist only remained in the hilltop medieval town of
Carcassonne for a few months but the upheaval inevitably had an effect on his art; he produced
very little work, and what he created shook off the hold of reality in favour of his inner world. Le
Repas de noces combines two elements that Magritte explored around this time: a powerful
image of a reclining lion, the trademark of a Brussels food retailer that was an ubiquitous part of
everyday life, mysteriously coupled with a fragile egg on a table top.

Christie’s 2017

The sixteenth edition of The Art of the Surreal sale will take place at Christie’s on 28 February, following the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale and will include 35 lots that chart the history of Dada and Surrealism.

René Magritte’s La corde sensible (1960, estimate: £14,000,000-18,000,000), one of the largest oils he created

René Magritte’s La corde sensible, a composition unique in his oeuvre, exemplifies the artist’s lifelong quest to reveal and revel in the mystery that he perceived to exist within the real world. Magritte originally presented it as a gift to his wife, Georgette. Later owned by Ronald Winston, the son of the world-renowned jeweller, Harry Winston, the painting has remained in the same private collection since 1990. Situated under a blue sky, amidst a verdant green landscape with a mountain range in the distance, an enormous crystal glass stands incongruously in the middle of the valley. Hovering just above it is a cloud, the weightless form meeting the solid glass creating a compelling contrast between lightness and weight, transparency and opacity, atmosphere and earth.

Le domaine d’Arnheim (1938, estimate: £6,500,000-8,500,000)
Le domaine d’Arnheim is René Magritte’s first realisation in oil of one of his most enduring pictorial motifs, the magisterial eagle-shaped mountain. The epic scale and romantic grandeur of this painting’s mountain imagery is echoed on a window ledge in the foreground of the painting where a small, almost minimal, still-life rests in the form of a pair of bird eggs. The present work formed part of the collection assembled by the great English patron and collector of surrealist art, Edward James.

Christie's 2016

Works by René Magritte (1898-1967) are led by Les profondeurs du plaisir, painted in 1947 (estimate: $4,500,000-6,500,000), a work that Magritte considered one of his masterpieces. The idea for this painting came to Magritte when his wife Georgette stood and looked out the window one summer evening.

Another painting by Magritte is L’explication, 1962 (estimate: $1,000,000-2,000,000), from a series where he locates the mystery in ordinary objects—the bottle morphs into a carrot.

On a related theme, Femme-bouteille, executed circa 1941 (estimate: $500,000-800,000) is from a series of works where Magritte transformed bottles into other objects--a nude woman with her hair cascading down the back of the bottle. The first owner of the present bottle was the surrealist artist Paul Delvaux who acquired the work from Magritte. The present owner acquired the work at auction in 1972.Christie's 2015

Christie's 2014 



René Magritte (1898-1967)

Christie's 2012

Christie's 2010

Christie's 2009

Christie's 2008



Christie's 2007




Christie's 2006

Christie's 2004

National Gallery (Washington DC)

Magritte, René
Belgian, 1898 - 1967
La condition humaine
oil on canvas
overall: 100 x 81 x 1.6 cm (39 3/8 x 31 7/8 x 5/8 in.)
framed: 116.2 x 96.5 x 4.4 cm (45 3/4 x 38 x 1 3/4 in.)
Gift of the Collectors Committee