13 million pounds breaks Dali record at London auction

11th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Salvador Dali's "Portrait de Paul Eluard" set a world record at Southeby's auction house in London Thursday when it was sold for more than 13 million pounds (21.6 million dollars, 15.8 million euros).

An anonymous bidder paid 13.4 million pounds for the 1929 masterpiece, the most ever for a Surrealist work at auction, breaking a record set in London only last night for a Dali piece at auction.

The 1929 Surrealist piece portrays French poet Paul Eluard, one of the pivotal figures of the movement and demonstrates many of the key elements that defined the eccentric Spanish artist's style.

Dali met Eluard while staying in Paris in 1929, a meeting that had a major bearing on the development of the young artist's artistic and private life.

However, Dali's piece was not the most expensive lot of the night with another anonymous bidder paying 23 million pounds (37 million dollars, 27.2 million euros) for Francis Bacon's "Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud."

The fee tripled pre-auction expectations and the piece was eventually sold after more than 10 bidders fought it out for more than seven minutes.

"It is an artwork that radiates 'wall-power' with its brilliant colour and dramatic brushstrokes," Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby's Chairman of Contemporary Art Europe, said.

"It narrates one of the most impressive artistic relationships of the 20th Century between two titans of British art."

The third major London sale of the week raised 93.5 million pounds.

© 2011 AFP

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