Europe: Painting “L’ empire de lumières” becomes second most expensive artwork

In Europe, on Wednesday, the painting “L’ empire de lumières” by the surrealist artist René Magritte from Belgium went under sale at an auction for over €71 million. As per the information provided by sources, it is the second most expensive work which is ever sold.

The painting was sold for around €20 million over its value price of approximately €53 million at the American auction house Sotheby’s in London as part of its Modern as well as Contemporary Evening Auction.

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The auction house has mentioned, “That’s almost three times the previous record for Magritte and makes ‘L’empire des lumières’ the second most valuable painting ever sold in Europe.

Along with this, the work is part of a series of paintings assuming a house near the Josaphat Park in the Schaerbeek municipality at night, with illuminated windows under a clear pale blue sky. In the paintings, it seems day and night at the same duration.

On the website, Sotheby mentioned the painting, “The group of seventeen oil paintings, entitled ‘L’empire des lumières’, is Magritte’s only real attempt to create a ‘series’ within his painting.”

“The works evolved but continued to speak to each other, just like the starry nights by Vincent van Gogh and the water lilies by Claude Monet.”

Moreover, the work has already been exhibited in Rome, Vienna, Paris, Milan, Edinburgh, Seoul, and San Francisco as well as was loaned to the Brussels’ Musée Magritte from 2009 to 2020.

In 1961, Magritte painted the work at the request of Baroness Anne-Marie Gillion Crowe, and it will go up for auction in Sotheby’s “Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction”, which covers over a century of art movements with works from the impressionists all over the Surrealism to Pop Art.

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On the other hand, before the auction, the work was on display at the galleries of Sotheby in Los Angeles in New York City, Hong Kong and London.

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