The painting with a mysterious plot, which the great surrealist René Magritte painted for his muse, Baroness Anne-Marie Crovet in 1961, has remained in the family collection to this day. But in March 2022, it will be presented by Sotheby’s and will take center stage in the evening auction dedicated to the art of the 20th century and contemporary art. Her estimate is $60+ million.

“Empire of Light is a true masterpiece of 20th-century art, a canvas where, paradoxically, day and night meet in everyday life,” says Helena Newman, Sotheby’s European Chairman, Head of the International Department of Impressionism and 20th-Century Art. – A large-scale picture, reminiscent of a frozen frame from a film, takes the viewer into Magritte’s universe, over which time has no power. The power of the aesthetic impact that the picture has, explains better than any words why Magritte belongs to the pantheon of the most sought-after artists. We are truly happy to kick off the New Year with an auction in London, where this outstanding work will be presented, the sale of which will be a new milestone both for the creative legacy of the artist himself and for the global art market as a whole.”

The painting participated in exhibitions in Brussels, Rome, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Seoul, Edinburgh and San Francisco, and from 2009 to 2020 was exhibited among other works by the master at the Magritte Museum in the Belgian capital. In anticipation of the London auction, Empire of Light will be shown at Sotheby’s galleries in Los Angeles (January 11-14), New York (January 22-27), Hong Kong (February 8, 9) and London (February 22 – March 2).

Photo: press service