David Hockney's landmark Egyptian painting, Great Pyramid at Giza with Broken Head from Thebes (1963), is to auction as part of Christie's Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, which is to be held in London on February 13.
The striking painting, which is believed to be the only canvas Hockney produced to commemorate his 1963 voyage to Egypt, features a surreal, collage-like composition, including a painterly pyramid, a palm tree, two cracked blue heads, a figure and what appears to be a kitchen tap.
Hockney's Egyptian trip was commissioned by the Sunday Times newspaper, who sought to publish the artist's sketches and the single canvas he created during the period, upon his return. However, the date of publication coincided with the assassination of John F Kennedy - a story of such scale that the Hockney prints were dropped and, for some unknown reason, never resurrected.
The canvas was finally published in the Sunday Times in December 2012, under the headline "Here's Your Original Hockney Reader. Sorry it's 50 years late."
The 72 x 72 inch canvas, which has never auctioned before, is estimated to be worth £2.5m-3.5m ($4m-5.6m), and sells following what turned out to be a superb 2012 for contemporary art sales.
Hockney's Beverly Hills Housewife sold at Christie's New York in May 2009 for $7.9m, while his iconic oil on canvas, Swimming Pool, brought £2.5 ($4m) in June at Sotheby's - suggesting the painting will put in a strong performance when it comes to auction.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we also have a wide range of art and photography collectibles in stock, including this pair of investment-grade, original Damien Hirst artworks. Famed for employing a sizable team to hand-finish his larger works, our Hirst pieces are all the more rare for having been drawn by the artist.
1m people worldwide now consider themselves to be serious art collectors, compared with just 10,000 in 1980. This is testament to the increasingly international profile of the art market, with China, Russia and the Middle East ever more prominent. For more information on capitalising on this growing market, please visit our investing in art and photography page.
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