A major painting by Joan Miró will lead Sotheby’s London’s June 19 evening sale of Impressionist and modern works, the auction house announced today. The sale is estimated to bring a total of $114–$160 million.
Peinture (Étoile Bleue), 1927, is one of the series of “dream paintings” that the Spaniard began in 1925. Against a rich blue background float a handful of individual motifs, including a darker blue star and a truncated heart in red, loosely joined by lines in black. In a 1925 work now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, he had identified the same blue as “the color of my dreams.”
The artist singled out this canvas “as a work key to his oeuvre and to the time period,” according to a 1971 letter from art historian Rosalind Kraus to the painting’s owner.
The work is estimated to sell for $24 to $32 million (£15-20 million), so even a sale near the low end would set a Miró auction record. The current record was set in February at Christie’s in London, when the 1925 canvas Painting-Poem brought $27 million.
The upcoming sale happens when markets are especially hot, as evidenced by a recent record-setting Impressionist-modern sale at Sotheby’s in New York, including a version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, and a record-breaking contemporary art auction at Christie’s. Moreover, the sale comes shortly after exhibitions of the artist’s work at Tate Modern in London, the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Other notable works going on the block that evening are a 1972 Picasso canvas, Homme assis; Pierre Bonnard’s Nu Debout (1930) from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III; and Monet’s La Seine á Bougival, an 1869 winter landscape.