Vincent van dough: Famous painting sells for £62m at auction

Rene Magritte L'empire des lumières, sold for $20.6m with fees

René Magritte L'empire des lumières, sold for $20.6m with fees Christie's Images LTD 2017

A painting of a ploughman tilling the soil has harvested a rich picking.

An important landscape which Vincent van Gogh painted from his asylum window has smashed its estimate to sell for $81 million. It had been valued at US$50 million.

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It was 1889 and van Gogh hadn't painted for six weeks, but he decided the distraction of work "might possibly be the best remedy". He died the following year.

Earlier during the Monday sale, Fernand Leger's 1913 Cubist composition, "Contraste de formes", fetched $70.1 million, an auction record for the French artist whose previous high was $39.2 million, according to Artnet.

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Rene Magritte's L'empire Des Lumieres - a nocturnal bourgeois street scene - was sold for US$20.56 million, which Christie's said was a world auction record for the Belgian surrealist. It had been estimated to bring in $50 million at Christie's evening sale of Impressionist and modern art in NY.

Pablo Picasso holds the world record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

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The painting, completed in early September 1889, was sold at Christie's auction house in NY. It goes under the hammer today.

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