Joan Miró's Peinture (Etoile Bleue) will auction in London tonight (June 19) with a £20m high estimate, in a sale that is anticipated to confirm the considerable strength of the Impressionist and Modern market.
The 1927 abstract is expected to comfortably surpass the €11.6m (£9.3m) figure it achieved in a Paris auction in 2007. Indeed the work could well set a new record for Miro, such is the buoyancy of the scene for the Spanish artist - the record is currently held by his 1925 Painting-Poem, which made £16.8m in February.
Picasso's £9m-valued Homme Assis is the anticipated second top lot at the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, while Pierre Bonard's 1931 Nu Debout will appear with a £5.5m valuation. It is the first time either piece has come to auction.
Kees Van Dongen's striking 1908 avant-garde painting Lailla will also appear, with a £5m estimate. It last sold at Christie's in June 2006 for €3.4m (£2.7m).
Tonight's auction is followed by a similar sale of Impressionist and Modern pieces at Christie's tomorrow, where Renoir's 1888 work Baigneuse will appear with a £18m valuation.
According to the Mei Moses art index, Impressionist and Modern works have risen in value by 5.75% pa during the past 25 years.
Hector Paterson, a London-based art adviser, recently told Bloomberg that despite a migration to Contemporary works by many collectors, "Impressionist and Modern art is still a good place to park money".
We will bring you full results of both sales. You can view Paul Fraser Collectibles' investment-grade art portfolio here.