Paul Cezanne painting of a southern French town sold for $20.5 million (18 million euros) at Christie’s auction in London on Wednesday. “Vue sur L’Estaque et le Chateau d’If” – a Mediterranean view of sea, sky and red rooftops said by Cezanne to be stacked up like the design on a playing card – was one of his works that paved the way for the cubism of Picasso. Dating from around 1883-1885, the artwork was bought in 1936 by British industrialist and collector Samuel Courtauld and remained in his private collection.
It was one of only two works by the artist that Courtauld kept for himself after he donated his collection to form the London museum and art institute that bears his name.
Christie’s ended its sale with a collection of surrealist works that contributed almost half of the evening’s total of $222.8 million, which included its own Impressionist and modern art haul. The top price of the night was $23.5 million for Spanish surrealist Juan Miro’s “Painting (Woman, Moon, Birds)” of 1950.