ARTS & CULTURE
01/16/2013 08:31 am ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

David Hockney's Egyptian-Inspired Painting Heads To Christie's Auction For The First Time (PHOTO)

We all have treasured mementos from our early trips abroad, but in the case of British artist David Hockey, his token of vacations past is a surreal painting, titled "Great Pyramid at Giza with Broken Head from Thebes." Unlike your "priceless" souvenirs, Hockney's commemoration of his first trip to Egypt is worth roughly £3.5 million ($5,626,600).

david hockney auction

The work was completed in 1963 shortly after the artist returned from his overseas trip, commissioned by art critic David Sylvester and journalist Mark Boxer from the Sunday Times. Hockney had recently graduated from the Royal College of Art but had yet to make his career-altering move to Los Angeles. The pricey painting is part of the upcoming Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale at Christie's Auction House in London. It will be on display at Christie's New York location from January 27-29.

Here's what the artist had to say about his memorable Egyptian adventure:

"Egypt is one of the most thrilling countries I’ve ever been to in the sense that these monuments are the oldest known buildings anywhere. After all, when Cleopatra showed Julius Caesar the pyramids, they were already two thousand years old and more. It is quite awe-inspiring ... I think you feel connected with them, whoever you are."

Scroll through the slideshow below for a look at more of Hockney's vibrant art. Let us know what you think of his early Egyptian-inspired work in the comments section.

PHOTO GALLERIES
David Hockney

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