Christie’s annual London auction The Art of the Surreal will follow on from the auction house’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on 5 February 2020 – marking the launch of ‘20th Century at Christie’s’.
Painted in 1962, René Magritte’s À la rencontre du plaisir (Towards Pleasure) (estimate: £8m – 12m) was purchased directly from the artist shortly after its creation and has remained in the same family collection for over half a century. This is the first time it will come to auction.
Olivier Camu, deputy chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s said: “It is with great expectation that we present this unique masterpiece by Magritte to the market for the first time on behalf of the family who were close friends of the artist and frequent guests at his famous Saturday gatherings of poets and other Surrealist intellectuals.”
Other highlights of the sale include another Magritte painting, Les fleurs de l’abîme (Flowers of the Deep), and a painting by James Ensor, Baptême des masques (Baptism of Masks) (£1m – 1.5m) – which previously sold at Dorotheum for $1.1m, in Vienna in June 2016.