Leonora Carrington’s Les Distractions de Dagobert To Sell For $18Million

Leonora Carrington’s Les Distractions de Dagobert, poised to make waves at Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction in New York, represents a pinnacle in the artist’s illustrious career.

Valued at an estimated $12 – 18 million, this masterpiece emerges from a hiatus of nearly three decades, offering art enthusiasts a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in Carrington’s surreal world.

Painted in 1945, against the backdrop of post-war upheaval, the work embodies Carrington’s defiance of convention and her unyielding commitment to artistic expression.

A testament to Carrington’s technical brilliance and boundless imagination, Les Distractions de Dagobert transports viewers to a realm where reality blurs with the fantastical. Each meticulously crafted vignette within the painting is a testament to Carrington’s mastery, inviting viewers on a journey through a landscape imbued with symbolism and mystery.

From ghostly volcanoes to watery worlds inhabited by enigmatic beings, Carrington’s tableau transcends time and space, inviting contemplation and interpretation.

A Landmark Surrealist Achievement

Les Distractions de Dagobert stands as a crowning achievement in Carrington’s oeuvre, encapsulating the essence of Surrealism with its rich imagery and luminous colours.

Leonora Carrington's Masterpiece: Les Distractions de Dagobert

Painted just two years after Carrington’s relocation to Mexico from Europe, the work represents a transformative period in the artist’s life. In Mexico City, Carrington found a supportive community of fellow exiled Surrealist artists, including Remedios Varo and Wolfgang Paalen, who provided the fertile ground for artistic exploration and innovation.

Against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, Carrington’s move to Mexico marked a profound shift in her artistic practice. Free from the constraints of European Surrealism, Carrington embraced newfound freedom and independence in her work.

Les Distractions de Dagobert serves as a testament to this transformative period, where Carrington’s visual language reached new heights of complexity and depth.

Legacy of Surrealism: A Global Influence

Beyond its artistic significance, Les Distractions de Dagobert exemplifies the enduring legacy of Surrealism, resonating across generations of artists worldwide.

Carrington’s work continues to inspire contemporary artists, with echoes of her visual style reverberating through the work of Cecily Brown, María Berrío, and others.

The painting’s inclusion in prestigious exhibitions like the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia underscores its relevance in the modern art world, cementing Carrington’s status as a pioneering figure in Surrealism.

Through her exploration of themes such as dreams, mythology, and the occult, Carrington tapped into the universal unconscious, creating a body of work that transcends cultural and temporal boundaries.

Les Distractions de Dagobert serves as a bridge between past and present, inviting viewers to delve into the depths of the subconscious and explore the mysteries of the human psyche.

Exploring Carrington’s Tapestry

In Les Distractions de Dagobert, Carrington weaves a tapestry of intricate landscapes, each brimming with symbolism and allegory. From the ethereal glow of extinct volcanoes to the turbulent waters of a surreal ocean, Carrington’s imagery transports viewers to a world where reality intertwines with fantasy.

Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as Irish mythology and indigenous Mexican cosmology, Carrington creates a visual language that transcends cultural boundaries, inviting viewers on a journey of discovery and wonder.

At the heart of Les Distractions de Dagobert lies Carrington’s mastery of technique and composition. Each element within the painting is rendered with meticulous detail, from the delicate brushstrokes to the vibrant hues that leap off the canvas.

Leonora Carrington's Masterpiece: Les Distractions de Dagobert

Carrington’s use of egg tempera, a demanding and quick-drying medium, further showcases her technical prowess, allowing her to achieve a level of detail and luminosity that is truly breathtaking.

Carrington’s Surrealist Journey in Mexico

Carrington’s arrival in Mexico marked a turning point in her artistic journey, providing her with the freedom and inspiration to fully realise her Surrealist vision.

Amidst a vibrant community of artists and intellectuals, Carrington found solace and camaraderie, forging lifelong friendships with luminaries such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It was in Mexico City that Carrington’s unique visual language began to take shape, drawing from a rich tapestry of cultural influences, from pre-Columbian mythology to European folklore.

In her quest to master her craft, Carrington experimented with various techniques and mediums, eventually settling on egg tempera as her preferred method of expression. The demanding nature of egg tempera suited Carrington’s meticulous approach, allowing her to convey the intricate detail and otherworldly beauty of her surreal landscapes.

Les Distractions de Dagobert, with its radiant tonality and exquisite draftsmanship, stands as a testament to Carrington’s technical prowess and artistic vision.

The Resurgence of Women Surrealists

As the 100th anniversary of André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto approaches, there is a renewed interest in the contributions of women artists to the Surrealist movement. Recent museum exhibitions and auction successes have brought attention to the overlooked role of women in shaping Surrealism’s legacy, challenging traditional narratives of the movement’s history.

Artists like Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, and Leonora Carrington are receiving long-overdue recognition for their groundbreaking contributions, with record-breaking sales and critical acclaim propelling them into the spotlight.

In conclusion, Leonora Carrington’s Les Distractions de Dagobert stands as a testament to the enduring power of Surrealism and the indelible mark left by women artists on the art world. As the painting prepares to embark on its journey through the auction circuit, it serves as a reminder of Carrington’s singular vision and her enduring legacy as one of the foremost figures of the Surrealist movement.

Images: Sotheby’s

Salon Privé

Salon Privé Magazine is the quintessence of luxury lifestyle journalism, renowned for its sophisticated portrayal of the opulent world since its inception in 2008. As a vanguard of high-end living, the magazine serves as an exclusive portal into the realms of haute couture, fine arts, and the aristocratic lifestyle. With over a decade of expertise, Salon Privé has established itself as the definitive source for those who seek the allure of luxury and elegance. The magazine's content is crafted by a cadre of experienced journalists, each bringing a wealth of knowledge from the luxury sector. This collective expertise is reflected in the magazine's diverse coverage, which spans the latest in fashion trends, intimate glimpses into royal lives, and the coveted secrets of the affluent lifestyle. Salon Privé's commitment to quality is evident in its thoughtful collaborations with industry titans and cultural connoisseurs, ensuring that its narratives are as authoritative as they are enchanting. With accolades that include being voted the number one luxury lifestyle magazine in the UK, Salon Privé continues to be at the forefront of luxury journalism, offering its discerning readership a guide to the finest experiences the world has to offer. Whether it's the grandeur of global fashion weeks, the splendor of exclusive soirées, or the pursuit of wellness and beauty, Salon Privé Magazine remains the emblem of luxury for the elite and the aspirants alike.