1958 René Magritte Masterpiece "L'ami intime" to be Auctioned for Up to $64 Million

Monday, February 5, 2024

In March, a significant painting by the renowned Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte named "L'ami intime" (The Intimate Friend) will go up for sale at Christie's auction house in London

The 1958 masterpiece, which has not been publicly exhibited since 1998, is expected to fetch between $38 million and $64 million.

Magritte's work is known for its dreamlike imagery, poetic themes, and use of symbolism, as evidenced in "L'ami intime."

This painting portrays a man standing with his back to the viewer, looking out at an expansive landscape, while a baguette and a wine glass hover before him.

According to Olivier Camu, Christie's deputy chairman for Impressionist and modern art, "L'ami intime" is one of Magritte's most valuable and noteworthy pieces in private possession.

"Of significance to the Roux family and familiar to everyone who has eaten at the restaurant since we first opened" - Michel Roux Jr.

The painting carries great significance as this year marks the centenary of the publication of André Breton's "Surrealist Manifesto," which outlined surrealism as a modern artistic movement.

Camu stated that Magritte, who died in 1967, is currently the most sought-after surrealist artist, with works selling at record prices.

While some artists, including Dalí, incorporate distinct cultural and religious imagery into their work, Magritte maintains a more abstract approach, allowing for multiple interpretations.

Christie's will exhibit "L'ami intime" in several cities before the auction, including Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, and London.

The painting was last owned by the late Gilbert Kaplan and his wife Lena Kaplan, who have decided to sell it through Christie's auction house.