Max Ernst's The Stolen Mirror headlines Christie's surrealist sale

Max Ernst's The Stolen Mirror will lead the forthcoming Art of the Surreal Evening Sale at Christie's in London.

The annual sale, now in its 16th year, will feature 42 works by 16 artists including Pablo Picasso, Wilfredo Lam, Rene Magritte, Joan Miro, Man Ray and Salvador Dali.

Stolen mirror
 The German artist completed The Stolen Mirror during WWII, while living in the US


Regarded as one of Ernst's finest works, and described as a "surrealist technical tour-de-force", The Stolen Mirror is a dream-like landscape painted in 1941 at the height of the artist's powers.

The Stolen Mirror holds the auction record for a Max Ernst artwork, having sold at Christie's in 2011 for £10.3m ($16.3m), and will now be offered with an estimate of £7m-£10m ($10.1m-$14.4m).

The sale will also offer another notable Ernst work, Fleurs coquilles sur fond marin, painted in 1928. Having remained hidden in a private collection for more than half a century, the large red and black "shell-flower" painting will be offered at auction for the first time, with an estimate of £600,000-£900,000 ($864,480-$1.3m).

Another notable lot is Joan Miro's work Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit, painted in 1968 for a travelling retrospective exhibition of the Spanish artist's work. The large-scale painting depicts Miro's favourite themes of women, birds and the night, and is expected to sell for £3m-£5m($4.3m-$7.2m).

Further highlights from the sale will include Pablo Picasso's surreal monochrome portrait Arlequin, painted in 1926 and estimated at £1.5m-£2.5m ($2.1m-$3.6m); Chant de la Foret by Cuban artist Wifredo Lam, estimated at £1.3m-£1.8m ($1.9m-$2.6m); and Fishermen in the Sun, a 1928 relief-painting which marked a vital turning point in the career of Salvador Dali, estimated at £700,000-£1m ($1.0m-$1.4m).

Christie's The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale takes place in London on Tuesday February 2.

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