Magritte 'bronze boot' sculpture set to stamp its authority on modern art auction

We've already covered one of the most exciting highlights of Bonhams upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art auction: a joyful painting by Picasso showing a vibrant (and totally unrealistic) view of Notre-Dame.

Picasso had just begun his relationship with Jacqueline Roque, who would later be his wife, and many believe his joie de vivre at the time is reflected in the work.

The classic work Jeune Fille aux Cheveux Noirs by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani is also on offer in the sale. Each painting is expected to sell for up to £1m.

However, we have yet to cover the input of Belgian artists Constant Permeke, Felix Labisse and especially René Magritte.

Whilst best known for his paintings, Magritte's dealer suggested in 1964 that he produce a handful of sculptures. The artist enthusiastically agreed, looking forward to the novelty of working with bronze.

Le puits de verite Magritte bronze boot sculpture
Le Puits de Verite - Magritte's 'bronze boot' sculpture

Le Puits de Vérité by René Magritte (1898-1967) is one result of the eight subjects he chose to cast in bronze. It was one of the first works to be cast, and he gave it to his wife Georgette Magritte in 1968.

There is a clear line of provenance from Georgette to the current sale, and the lot is regarded as amongst one of the most successful sculptures within the series, bringing together the artist's fascination with ideas of the banal, identity and notions of scale.

The work relates to a 1963 painting of the same name, which depicts the oversized shoe and truncated trouser leg in the foreground against the background of a row of trees. It is expected to sell for £150,000-200,000 in the London sale on February 7.

Collectors will be pleased to know that they don't have to pay six or seven figure sums for a work by a great modern artist, however. For example, a print of a work by Marc Chagall, signed by the artist, is in our stock and available right now.

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