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Magritte’s painting ‘Le Banquet’ sells for more than €16m at New York auction

11:23 18/05/2024

The painting Le Banquet by Belgian surrealist René Magritte (1898-1967)  sold for $18,144,000 (€16.7 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Its estimated sale price was between €14m to €18.5m. Dating from 1955, the oil painting of a forest scene with a piercing bright red sun was one of a series of works on this theme that the Brussels artist completed in 1958.

This particular work had previously been part of a major private American collection since November 2017.

It is “an exquisite example of René Magritte’s utterly singular ability to give shape to the space between vision and our visual experience of the world,” said Sotheby’s. “Produced with the sober realism characteristic of Magritte, Le Banquet is a masterpiece of surrealist image,” added the prestigious auction house.

Two versions of Magritte’s La Main heureuse, belonging to a European collection, also went under the hammer. Depicting a piano encircled in an engagement ring, the smaller painting, executed in 1952, sold for €1,117,000; the second, painted the following year, achieved €3,690,000.

The three Magritte paintings were part of a larger lot at the Modern Evening sale that included works by Monet, Picasso and Rothko.

Photo: courtesy Sotheby’s New York

Written by The Bulletin