Max Ernst's Stolen Mirror headlines surrealist art auction

Max Ernst's The Stolen Mirror led an auction of surrealist art at Christie's London on February 2, achieving £7.6m ($10.9m).

The work was painted in 1941, in the midst of the second world war.

Stolen mirror
Max Ernst painted The Stolen Mirror after his arrival in the US in 1941

Ernst (1891-1976) managed to flee occupied France after being arrested by the Gestapo - thanks in part to the intervention of wealthy art collector Peggy Guggenheim (whom he later married).

The present work is described as "a surrealistic tour-de-force" depicting a bizarre and alien landscape.

Ernst was a pioneering figure in the surrealist movement  and would later act as a major influence on the explosion of abstract expressionism in America.

Joan Miro's Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit was another highlight, realising a solid £5.7m ($8.3m).

The work was painted for a travelling retrospective of Miro's work and features three of his most often recurring motifs (women, birds and the night).

Jay Vincze and Olivier Camu of Christie's comment: "We had strong interest across price levels and periods, from Paul Cezanne's 1882 work 'Ferme en Normandie, ?�t?� (Hattenville)', through to Joan Mir??'s 1968 'Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit'.

"With registered bidders from 35 countries across 5 continents demonstrating the continued breadth of interest in the category, we continued to welcome strong participation from Asia, America and Europe."

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