Man Ray’s ‘Le Violon d’Ingres’ becomes the most expensive photo ever sold at auction

Penned by Toyin Owoseje, CNN

This story was current with the final sale price tag and other facts pursuing the auction.

Guy Ray’s famed “Le Violon d’Ingres” built heritage Saturday when it turned the most high priced photograph ever to sell at auction.

The black and white image, taken in 1924 by the American surrealist artist, transforms a woman’s bare system into a violin by overlaying the photograph of her again with f-holes.

The first print of the masterpiece, greatly regarded to be Guy Ray’s most well known perform, bought for $12.4 million, smashing sale estimates. Prior to the sale, it was expected to fetch in between $5-7 million, the best estimate for a solitary photograph in auction record, in accordance to Christie’s, which offered the work.

Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky, lived from 1890 to 1976. He was a critical member of the Dada and Surrealism movements and his “Le Violon d’Ingres” was the major great deal to be available from the collection of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs, retail executives and art collectors who had ties to Surrealist circles.

According to Christie’s, the New York few acquired the piece from Ray again in 1962. It would be bought along with other artworks, photos, jewellery, and posters, from their art collection amassed around many years.

Jacobs, a former chairman and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, died in 1993 at the age of 67. His wife Rosalind Gersten Jacobs, a longtime Macy’s government, died in 2019 at the age of 94. The couple’s daughter and the executor of their estate, Peggy Jacobs Bader, claimed in a statement prior to the sale that each individual piece from the assortment “has a one of a kind and personal story behind it” and demonstrates the “joyful spirit of my parents’ connection.”

Just before the auction, Darius Himes, global head of images at Christie’s, had named the photo “a person of the most legendary will work of the 20th century,” in a statement. “This beguiling Surrealist image is the consequence of a special and hand-manipulated darkroom method.”

He added: “The reach and affect of the image, at once romantic, mysterious, roguish, and playful, has captured the minds of all for practically 100 decades. As a photographic perform, it is unprecedented in the marketplace.”

Other standout parts provided at the New York auction involved Vija Celmins’ Mars, which went for $1.26 million.

Before the sale, the auction record for the most pricey photograph had been held by Andreas Gursky’s “Rhine II,” which was offered by Christie’s for $4.3 million in 2011.

Kenneth Proto

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