A surrealist auction at Sotheby’s !

In the year 2022, one of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte’s most iconic masterpieces, “L’Empire des Lumières”, made art history at a highly anticipated auction organized by the prestigious Sotheby’s auction house.


The world-renowned auction house had the honor of presenting “L’Empire des Lumières” to the art market. The announcement of this exceptional sale has generated growing anticipation among collectors, art lovers and investors worldwide.


Not only is this work of art of exceptional beauty, it is also part of an iconic series of eighteen paintings created by René Magritte between 1948 and 1960. Why is this painting so famous? Because it perfectly evokes Magritte’s trademark mystery! The painting depicts a house at night, lit only by the light of a street lamp, with a daytime sky. “L’Empire des lumières” is a tribute to paradox.


The first version of this series was acquired by Nelson Rockefeller and exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1954. The success of this work prompted Magritte to paint other versions to satisfy numerous would-be buyers, including Peggy Guggenheim, the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, MoMA and the Menil Collection.


This 1961 version of “L’Empire des lumières” is exceptional in its size, measuring no less than 114.5 cm by 146 cm. Previously owned by the Belgian Crowet family, this work was offered for sale for the very first time since its creation.


After only a few minutes of bidding, the price of the work came to $79.8 million, above the guaranteed price of $62.5 million. The work was reportedly acquired by an Asian buyer.


Magritte thus joins the ranks of the world’s most expensive artists, after Warhol, Picasso and Modigliani.


Read the La Libre article on the subject.