Magritte’s L’ami Intime fetches 33m pounds at auction

The painting L'ami intime by Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte was sold for 33.6 million pounds (39.37 million euros) by Christie's auction house in London on Thursday.

The 1960 painting, whose title translates as The Intimate Friend, depicts a man wearing a bowler hat, a recurring figure in Magritte's work. The man gazes out over a landscape as a baguette and a wine glass float in the air behind him.

Magritte (1898-1967) was known for depicting familiar objects in unexpected contexts, questioning the nature of reality and representation. L'ami intime belonged to the Gilbert and Lena Kaplan Collection and was last exhibited in Brussels in 1998.

The painting was sold as part of Christie's annual sale of Surrealist and Dadaist art to mark the centenary of the Surrealist Manifesto, written by André Breton in October 1924.

It was the first time the painting had been auctioned since 1980. The work's value was estimated at between 30 and 50 million pounds (35 and 58 million euros).

Several other works by Magritte also went under the hammer on the same evening, including Le principe d'Archimede, which sold for just under 1.5 million pounds (1.745 million euros).



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