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Magritte Painting The Empire of Light Sells for Record $80 Million

The work carried an estimate of $60 million. It was a record for the artist, whose previous highest price at auction had been $29 million

The Empire of Light by René Magritte.

The Empire of Light by René Magritte.

Source: Sotheby's

A surrealist painting by René Magritte sold for a record £59.4 million ($79.7 million) at Sotheby’s London on Wednesday, more than doubling the artist’s record at auction.

The 1961 painting, L’empire des lumières (The Empire of Light), which depicts a darkened street and house with lit windows underneath a sunny, day-time sky, carried an estimate in excess of $60 million. The result makes the painting the second-most expensive in USD to ever sell publicly in London, according to Sotheby’s. Measured in GBP, the auction house says it is London’s most expensive, ever.