A sale of "exceptional" surrealist art including a Joan Miro painting that has not been seen for more than half a century is set to raise millions of pounds next month.

The Barcelona-born painter's 1939 work The Ladder of Escape is alone estimated to sell for around £8 million at the sale at Christie's auction house in central London on 6 February.

It is the first time it has been offered for sale in almost 60 years and not seen in public for more than 50 years.

surreal art Tous les Jours by Magritte


Other items in the sale including work by some of leading names of the Surrealist movement including Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

The entire auction has a pre-sale estimate of £30 million to £46.8 million.

Olivier Camu, Christie's deputy chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art, said: "This pioneering movement of 20th century art now commands the attention of the global art market, with Christie's auctions attracting new collectors each year from around the world and from other collecting areas, notably Contemporary art.

"We have witnessed a remarkable growth in demand since we held the inaugural standalone Dada and Surrealism sale in 1989 and established the first annual Art of the Surreal Sale in 2001.

"Surrealist and Dada art - and specifically the works in this sale - provide an unparalleled bridge for collectors. For those who love Impressionist and Modern Art, the works break new boundaries and look forcefully and creatively ahead; for collectors who love contemporary art they showcase the daring, challenging and innovative explorations of the artistic masterminds who set the foundations and context for many of the greatest contemporary and classic post-war artists.

"They sought, as Andre Breton its founder and chief spokesman stated, 'to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality'."

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  • Machne a Coudre Electro-Sexuelle by Oscar Dominguez

  • L'Echelle de l'Evasion (The Ladder of Escape) by Miro

  • L'Arc Volant by Tanguy

  • Les Nymphes des Eaux by Delvaux

  • Femme Debout by Miro

  • Tous les Jours by Magritte