One of Marcel Duchamp’s reproductions of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, on which he had pencilled a beard and a mustache was sold for 632,500 euros ($7,50,000) at Sotheby’s in Paris.
It was part of the sale of a collection of surrealist works owned by American Arthur Brandt, with 110 pieces fetching 3.9 million euros.
Considered to be the father of Conceptual Art, Marcel Duchamp challenged the very notion of art. "You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being or something which needs no definition.”
However, some standout pieces, including a work by Francis Picabia, which was estimated at €700,000, did not find a buyer.
Duchamp’s version of the Mona Lisa was one of nine works in the sale by the French artist, who is seen as the father of conceptual art.
The Mona Lisa works entitled L.H.O.O.Q, which in French sounds like the phrase “elle a chaud au cul”, roughly translated as “she’s horny”. It had a pre-sale estimate of €400,000 to €600,000.
The version that sold late on Saturday was created in 1964 after the original 1919 so-called “ready-made” piece.
The work is a portable museum featuring 68 of the artist’s most famous works, reproduced or miniaturised. Seven distinct versions were made in limited edition between 1941 and 1966.
The work is a portable museum featuring 68 of the conceptualist artist’s most famous work. Seven distinct versions were made in limited edition between 1941 and 1966.
The other Duchamp pieces on sale at the auction included Boite-en-valise or Box in a Suitcase, which beat its pre-sale estimate of €180,000 to €250,000, selling for €319,500.
A painting by Swiss artist Kurt Seligmann called Buste d’homme, estimated at €60,000 to €80,000, was sold for €181,250, “not far from a world record for the artist”, according to Sotheby’s.
The auction also featured six pieces offered from artist and photographer Man Ray, among which, The Lovers, a set of lips engraved in lead and then painted, accompanied by a rope, sold for €81,250, far above the upper pre-sale estimate of €25,000.
Information source: thehindu