Joan Miro's "Peinture (Etoile Bleue)" sold here Tuesday at Sotheby's auction house for 23.56 million pounds ($37 million), a record price for a work by the Spanish artist.
The 1927 piece was part of an extensive sale of impressionist and abstract art, at which works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Bonnard, Monet, Giacometti and De Chirico were also auctioned off.
The picture, described by Miro (1893-1983) as a "key" turning point in his artistic career, incorporates surrealist symbols and elements that the painter would repeat in later works.
The intense blue of the painting influenced not only the artist's later works, but also the style of other painters like Mark Rothko (1903-1970) and Yves Klein (1928-1962).
The auction of one of Miro's most representative works comes at a time when the greatest retrospective of his art in the last 50 years is still on view in Washington.
The exhibition brings together 150 works and was first shown at the Tate Modern in London in 2011, later traveling to the Joan Miro Foundation in Barcelona and afterwards to the United States.
"'Peinture (Etoile Bleue)' is one of Miró's most important paintings, effortlessly bridging the transition between figurative and abstract art. His works from this period are supremely modern, timeless and of great universal appeal," Helena Newman, head of Sotheby's impressionist and modern department, said.
Besides "Peinture," the 1972 Picasso painting "Hombre Sentado" (Man Seated) was knocked down at the Sotheby's auction for 6.2 million pounds ($9.7 million). EFE