August 15, 2022

Dubai Week

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The “Empire of Light” by Rene Magrid was sold at a record price

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René Magritte’s “Empire of Light”, a masterpiece of the 20th century, sold for 59 59.4 million ($ 79.47 million) in London on Wednesday, setting a record at the Belgian artist’s auction.

Sotheby’s, the auction house, announced on Twitter, “The Empire of Light has sold for .4 59.4 million, setting a new record for the work of surrealist master Rene McGregor at auction.”

According to Monte Carlo, in 2018, Magrid’s “The Pleasure Principle” sold for $ 26.8 million at an auction in New York.

Sotheby’s estimates that “Empire of Light” will sell for more than $ 60 million. This painting is one of MacArthur’s most famous works, depicting a man standing with a green apple in front of the sea, along with “The Betrayal of the Pictures” and “The Son of Man”.

Anne-Marie Gillion Croyd, daughter of the Belgian collector Pierre Croyd, painted the “Empire of Light” by Magrid in 1961 for her girlfriend and museum. The painting has been with the family since that year.

The painting shows a house lighting up at night, while the blue cloudy sky indicates that the time is day.

“The strange combination of a dark street at night under a blue sky is characteristic of McGregor’s dazzling surreal imagination, where two incompatible things create a‘ false reality ’,” the auction house said.

Measuring 114.5 x 146 cm, the painting was on display in Rome, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Seoul, Edinburgh and San Francisco, and was housed in the Magrid Museum in Brussels from 2009 to 2020.

Noting that it was the source of inspiration for one of the scenes from the 1973 horror film “The Exorcist”, Sotheby’s considered it “arguably the most cinematic of all Macriton’s works”.

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The house explained that the painting was part of a collection of 17 oil paintings, which “represents Magritte’s sole attempt to create a ‘series’ of his works.”

The series quickly became known to the public and collectors through the first painting purchased by Nelson Rockefeller and now in the Becky Kugenheim Museum of Modern Art in Venice or in the Men’s Collection in Houston, Texas. Or at the Royal Belgian Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels.

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