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Banksy, Girl with Balloon
Magritte, L'empire des lumières, 1961
Monet, Glaçons, environs de Bennecourt

Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Sales

8 February 2022 - 9 February 2022



This March, Sotheby’s London will be hosting a series of Modern and Contemporary Art sales and some stellar pieces will first exhibited in Hong Kong in the coming February.

One of the most desirable works of modern art in private hands, and among the definitive images of Surrealist art, René Magritte’s L’empire des lumières captures the visual paradox that lies at the heart of the artist’s originality. The instantly recognisable work was created in 1961 for Baroness Anne-Marie Gillion Crowet, the daughter of Magritte’s patron the Belgian Surrealist collector Pierre Crowet, and has remained in the family ever since. With an estimate in excess of US$60 million, this masterpiece of twentieth century art will be offered as the star of Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction in London on 2 March.

Also on offer in the sale are five works by Claude Monet painted during a formative fifteen-year period during his career, charting the artist’s pivot from an Impressionist painter to the father of Abstract Expressionism. From a flower-filled canvas of chrysanthemums that prefigures Monet’s celebrated late water lily paintings and celebrates his fascination with Japan, to a rhythmic depiction of loosely bundled together grainstacks, and two landscapes painted under different weather conditions at opposing ends of the seasons, the works – all of which pre-date 1900 – encapsulate the ‘modern’ Monet that had such a profound influence on later artists and movements. The five works carry a combined estimate in the region of US$50 million (£35 million).

Two pin-ups of British popular culture are set to take centre stage at Sotheby’s this spring, when three works by Banksy, which portray his most recognisable motifs, are offered from the collection of music legend, Robbie Williams. Kissing Coppers (est. £2.5-3.5 million), the artist’s iconic portrayal of two British policemen in a passionate embrace, Vandalised Oils (Choppers) (est. £2.5-3.5 million) and Girl with Balloon, “the nation’s favourite artwork” (es. £2-3 million), will make their auction debuts in the first edition of The Now Evening Auction in London on 2 March.

By Appointment Only: Tel 2524 8121


8 February 2022
9 February 2022
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