Man Ray’s Le Violon d’Ingres Sells for Record-Setting $12.4 Million


There’s a huge market out there for surrealist photography and perhaps one much larger than initially estimated.

five assorted paintings on easels
Five assorted paintings on easels at auction. Photo by Raychan

Surrealist Man Ray’s work “Le Violon d’Ingres” just broke records for an image sold at auction, Pop Photo reports, selling for $USD 12.4 million when initial prices put the work between $USD 7-9 million.

You’ll recall we brought you word of this auction some time back and even then it was going to be a pretty big deal yet it seems like everyone somewhat discounted just how big it would ultimately be.

Christie’s International Head of Photographs Darius Himes told Artlyst, “Photography has been the invention and medium quietly underpinning and influencing much of the art and popular culture of the 20th century…Long seen as an icon of 20th-century art, this purely photographic work is truly unrivaled and, appearing on the market for the very first time in its history, has now smashed all records for any photographic piece at auction, vintage or contemporary, as well as all Man Ray auction records in any medium.”

The work was part of the larger Surrealist World of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs collection which fetched $USD 42 million as a whole at Christie’s.

Those are some pretty big numbers and, unlike the huge NFT auction haul that Beeple brought in last year, this consists of actual physical specimens. Will we start seeing more surrealist work on the auction block soon? It’s too early to tell but it’s certainly great news for the medium that a work like this can command such figures.

Are you a fan of Man Ray’s work? Are you surprised that Le Violon d’Ingres sold for so much? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

There is more photography news for you to read at this link right here.

[Pop Photo]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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