Surrealist of the Surrealists... Modigliani, Picasso and Miro art sells in London


Here's a reminder that three works by one of the greatest Surrealist painters are to be auctioned at Bonhams' Impressionist & Modern Art sale on Tuesday June 21 at New Bond Street, London.

The three works all display the signature striking style of the artist, and have attracted pre-sale estimates to tempt a range of buyers.

The most affordable is Abstrait (£5,000-7,000), while Femme is expected to sell for £60,000-80,000.  The most valuable of the trio is Tête (£100,000-150,000), a beautiful watercolour, gouache and pastel of a face.

Miró is a highly iconic artist and his deceptively simple imagery betrays highly complex symbology.  His works are often noted for their energetic compositions, perhaps displaying the vibrancy of his Catalan upbringing. 

Joan Miró's Tête (£100,000-150,000) is a beautiful watercolour, gouache and pastel of a face

Andre Breton described him as the most Surrealist of the Surrealists, yet his work was also influenced by Dada and his experimental nature means that he resists easy classification into one artistic movement.

The Bonhams auction catalogue for this sale also includes works by Modigliani, Renoir, Picasso and Chagall.

Hannah Foster, of Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Department comments, "We have an exciting collection of Miró works from the 1970s ranging from £5,000-15,000 in this sale. 

"They bear testimony to the unfettered and expressive style characteristic of this period in Miró's oeuvre when he progressed from his earlier more tightly composed canvases towards an increasingly spontaneous and immediate aesthetic."

Meanwhile, among the works by Pablo Picasso is 'Nu, Etude pour 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'' (1907), a watercolour and gouache study from a number of works that Picasso created in preparation for his finished masterpiece.

Perfect preparation... Pablo Picasso's 'Nu, Etude pour 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon''

The work last sold at Sotheby's New York in 2007 where it beat its high-end estimate to sell for $313,000.

What kind of appreciation can you expect from an artwork of this calibre? Well, in June the painting will hit the auction block with an estimated value of £300,000 - £500,000, more than double its price of just three years ago.

It will be interesting to see how 'Nu, Etude pour 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'' performs - and it will more than likely illustrate the continually growing strength of the art markets, and consolidate Picasso's well-know status as one of the market's 'blue chip' investments.


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