Salvador Dali masterpiece set for $12m Sotheby's sale

Sotheby's in New York will play host to an incredible selection of surrealist artwork, as part of their Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in May.

With works from artists including Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Max Ernst and Paul Delvaux, the auction is certain to attract attention from major collectors - as sales over the past 12 months have illustrated.

"Surrealism is the last great movement of 20th century modernism to be fully appreciated in the marketplace, and a number of new benchmarks have been set just over the course of the last year" says Simon Shaw, Head of Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Department in New York.

"In February 2011, Sotheby's set a new record for a Surrealist work of art at auction when Salvador Dalí's Portrait de Paul Eluard sold for $21.7 million. That same sale saw a new record for a work on paper by René Magritte set when his Le Maître d'École brought just over $4 million. Just three months later, Sotheby's set a new record for Paul Delvaux when his Les Cariatides achieved $9 million."

The highlight of the sale will be Salvador Dalí's 1936 masterpiece Printemps nécrophilique, which comes to the market for the first time in almost 15 years. It was formerly owned by the celebrated French fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, a frequent collaborator with Dalí whose creations were heavily influenced by surrealism.  

The painting will appear in the sale with an estimated value of $8m - $12m, but the exceptional provenance and iconic nature of the work could see it easily surpass this figure.

The market for surrealism is exceptionally strong at the moment, with Dalí's works increasingly sought-after by both collectors and investors.

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we are currently able to offer this superb original Salvador Dalí sketch, originating from the personal collection of the artist's wife and muse Gala Dalí.

"Surrealism continues to present exciting opportunities for collectors given the wide range of material available at varying price points - literature, works on paper, paintings, sculpture and objects - and the fact that great masterworks remain in private hands," says Shaw.

"Additionally, given that the roots of much recent art lie in Surrealism, it crosses over well with collections of Contemporary art."

The sale, which also features important works including Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream, will take place in New York on May 2.

For all the latest news and results from the sale, visit our art news section here.

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