Painting by British artist Leonora Carrington sells for record £22.8m

painting by british artist leonora carrington sells for record £22.8m

Les Distractions de Dagobert by Leonora Carrington has sold for more than £22m (Sotheby’s/PA)

A painting by Lancashire-born artist Leonora Carrington has sold for more than £22 million.

Sotheby’s says the sale of Carrington’s Les Distractions de Dagobert means she is the most valuable British-born female artist at auction.

The work was bought for 28.5 million US dollars (£22.48 million) after a ten-minute bidding battle – which Sotheby’s said exceeded Carrington’s previous record of 3.3 million US dollars (£2.6 million) , set in the auction house in 2022.

The painting has been acquired by Argentine businessman Eduardo F Costantini, founder of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, at the sale at Sotheby’s modern auction in New York.

Mr Costantini said: “An iconic painting, The Distractions of Dagobert is one the most admired works in the history of surrealism and an unparalleled masterpiece of Latin American art.

“I was the underbidder when she reached the artist’s record 30 years ago and tonight once again, we made a new auction record.

“This masterpiece will be part of a collection where, amongst others, two important works by Remedios Varo and another record-breaking Frida Kahlo are also found.”

Painted two years after Carrington’s arrival in Mexico in 1945, the psychedelic scenes are inspired by the life of Frankish ruler Dagobert, who lived in the seventh century.

It shows a variety of moments including extinct volcanoes, a lake of fire engulfing an inverted idol and a watery world where a giant with a double animal head holds a human-faced puffer fish.

Carrington was born in Lancashire on April 6, 1917 and later lived in Mexico alongside other female surrealists including Kahlo and Remedios Varo.

She died in 2011 at the age of 94.

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