Magritte letters go up for auction at Sotheby's

Magritte painting The bowler hat often featured in Magritte's paintings

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More than 40 letters and postcards written by surrealist artist Rene Magritte will appear at auction in New York in June.

The correspondence between Magritte and his friend, the poet Paul Colinet, is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $400,000 (£138,771 and £277,544).

Many of the letters include drawings and sketches, as Magritte asks his friend's advice about painting titles.

The Belgian artist's work includes Madame Recamier de David and The Rape.

The correspondence was last auctioned along with artefacts from Magritte's studio at Sotheby's in London in 1987.

The present collection will be offered as part of Sotheby's sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts on 18 June in New York.

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Highlights from the sale can be seen at Sotheby's in London between 17 and 20 May.

Magritte, who died in 1967, was one of the best known artists of the 20th Century, creating dream-like surreal images which have become iconic.

He became a leading members of the surrealist art community in Paris in the 1920s.

Magritte's work has inspired pop and conceptual art, the cover of a Rolling Stones record, a video by Oasis, and songs by Paul Simon and John Cale.

He was influenced by popular art - from the slapstick of Laurel and Hardy to the detective novels of Dashiell Hammett - and started as a commercial artist, designing covers for sheet-music, posters and even wallpaper.

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