Joan Miro painting smashes auction record

Spanish artist Joan Miro's Peinture (Etoile Bleue) Miro's Peinture (Etoile Bleue) has tripled in price since it was last sold in 2007

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Joan Miro's 1927 work Peinture (Etoile Bleue) has sold for more than £23.5 million in London, setting a new auction record for the Spanish painter.

An anonymous telephone bidder saw off three rivals at the Sotheby's sale.

The abstract work has tripled in price since it was last sold in 2007 and fetched the highest price reached at a London auction so far this year.

The previous auction record for a Miro was £16.8m, set when his 1925 work Painting-Poem sold in February.

Peinture (Etoile Bleue) - which translates as Painting (Blue Star) - hails from Miro's 'dream paintings' cycle and had been expected to fetch no more than £15m.

According to Sotheby's Helena Newman, the high figure reflected the current "unprecedented demand" for the best of 20th Century art.

The second highest price at Tuesday's event was fetched by Pablo Picasso's Homme Assis, which sold for £6.2m.

A Henry Moore sculpture, Mother and Child With Apple, was one of the night's other star performers, raising well above its pre-sale forecast of £3.7m.

The auction was the first in a busy week for fine art sales in London, which continues on Wednesday at Christie's.

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