In the early morning hours on April 20, 2020, Steven Belledin’s painting Yorion, Sky Nomad sold on the MTG Art Market for $7,000. A few days later on April 23, its matching color study sold for an additional $1,150.

Yorion, Sky Nomad by Steven Belledin, oils on hardboard, 18” x 24”

Yorion, Sky Nomad by Steven Belledin is a work of oils on hardboard measuring 18 inches by 24 inches, a size that seems to be the new normal for traditional rendering of title cards. It was commissioned for Magic’s latest expansion, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. The set has already been released online, and it will be available in stores on May 15, 2020.

The auction was run on the MTG Art Market via Vorthos Mike acting as agent for the artist, and rose quickly from its $3,000 ask. Several known collectors, a handful of private bids, and even Magic Pro Samuel Black competed to add this painting to their respective collections. Through the duration of the auction, the apparent power level of Yorion continued to be discovered; this seemed to fuel the bidding even higher. It would come down to Black and a private bidder pushing this painting into the soft-close overtime, with the victory eventually going to the anonymous buyer bidding by private message.

Yorion also had a matching color study. Once the big auction ended, bidding increased for the preliminary miniature. It was sold a few days later, finishing at an ever impressive $1,150.

Yorion, Sky Noman (Color Study) by Steven Belledin, oil on hardboard, 5” x 7”

This pair of auctions were a soaring success, demonstrating what happens when you have a beautiful painting on what appears to be a very good card. Whether or not Yorion will make long-term waves in Magic may yet be determined, but there is no doubt this illustration is a highlight of this year’s new artworks.

About the Artist

Steven Belledin has illustrated more than 150 cards for Magic, including legendary creatures, Planeswalkers, basic lands, Masterpieces, and even the illustrious Black Lotus. You can follow his Magic art process on his Muddy Colors contribution each month, and learn more about the artist from Rhystic Studies’ in-depth exploration of his work.

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