Joan Miro masterpieces to lead Christie's Art of the Surreal auction

Three masterpieces by Catalan artist Joan Miro will lead Christie's Art of the Surreal sale on February 4 in London.

Joan Miro
Miro adopted a looser, more experimental style in his later years

The top lot of the sale is Miro's L'oiseau au plumage deploye vole vers l'arbre argente, which is valued at £7m-9m ($10.5m-13.6m) and described by Christie's as "a remarkable example of Joan Miro's artistic development in the early 1950s."

Miro was a well-established artist by the 1950s, and it was during this period that he left behind the precision of his earlier works and began to experiment with freer lines in a more unrehearsed manner.

Another of Miro's early 1950s works, entitled Painting (Women, Moon, Birds), will sell at £4m-7m ($6m-10.5m), while L'echelle de l'evasion (The Escape Ladder) is valued at £3m-5m ($4.5m-7.5m).

The Escape Ladder shows a ladder bridging two worlds, and is a frequently appearing image in Miro's work, thought to symbolise his own escape from reality during the years of the Spanish civil war, with Miro's Catalan identity often playing a large role in his work.

Also featuring are a number of works by Rene Magritte, with Les compagnons de la peur expected to make between £2.7m and £3.5m ($4m-5.2m). Created in 1942, it is one of the earliest of Magritte's paintings to feature the leaf bird, one of his most recognisable motifs.

Sotheby's will hold its Surrealist Art sale on February 3 in London, led by Magritte's L'explication.

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