Magritte is also playing with Sun and Moon. By ignoring the third dimension, the crescent moon appears as posed on the character's hat. One of the simplest variants is titled Le Maître d'Ecole. A small gouache 33 x 25 cm made in 1955 was sold for $ 6.8M including premium by Sotheby's on November 5, 2015 over a lower estimate of $ 3M.
In 1956 the artist has a new find, a "trouvaille" in his own words. Why are Moon and Sun always in the background at the risk of being hidden by the landscape ?
Le Banquet shows a common wood edge in front of the redness of sunset. The bright red Sun of great sharpness is at the exact center of the picture ahead of the big tree. In the same year the Moon performs a similar feat in Le Seize Septembre.
One of the earliest examples of Le Banquet, painted in 1956 or perhaps in 1957, oil on canvas 75 x 121 cm, was sold for $ 6.8 million including premium by Christie's on May 9, 2007. It is estimated $ 12M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on November 14, lot 36.
SOLD for $ 13.6M including premium