Rene Magritte's Les chasseurs hammers for $10.7m at Christie's

Rene Magritte's 1928 painting Les chasseurs au bord de la nuit (The hunters at the edge of night) led the February 4 Art of the Surreal auction at Christie's London, achieving £6.5m ($10.7m).

The piece is one of the most important early works by Magritte to have come to auction in recent years, and was fresh from its inclusion in MOMA's Magritte, The Mystery of The Ordinary retrospective last year.

Magritte Hunters Edge Night
The painting is a strong example of Magritte's early work

Olivier Camu, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art at Christie's, commented prior to the sale: "25 years on from holding the inaugural standalone Dada and Surrealism sale and 14 years since Christie's established its annual auction in the field, the global demand for this pioneering movement continues to go from strength to strength.

"Surrealist art now commands the attention of the international art market from across many collecting categories, from Old Masters to Contemporary art."

The auction featured work from a diverse range of artists including Carlos Carra and Dorothea Tanning, both of who achieved new artist records.

Following the sale's conclusion Camu stated: "The Surrealist sale was packed with quality, unseen works including the Carra, the Tanning - which had not been seen for 30 years and sparked competition amongst 15 bidders - and the Magritte, which is one of only three works by the artist to reach the $10 million mark and which sold to a contemporary art collector who has, like many others, joined the Surrealist field of collecting."

The auction took place alongside Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which set a new record for a work by Juan Gris.

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