Born in Belgium in 1894, Michaux took French nationality in 1955. In the 1920s his painting was influenced by Paul Klee and Surrealists such as Giorgio de Chirico and Max Ernst.
In the late 1950s he began experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs, in particular with mescaline, which influenced both his writing and his painting. He saw the latter as the means to express visually what he could put down in words.
Michaux produced numerous so-called mescaline drawings, but only very few paintings which reflected his drug-based experiences.
One of these peintures mescaliniennes, an untitled 20 x 13in (50 x 32cm) gouache and oil composition, was executed in 1956, the year the mescaline experiments began. For the last three decades it belonged to the family collection of the investment company Haniel in Duisburg.
The estimate of €8000 at Ketterer on December 11-12 left the bidders plenty of scope and they rose to the occasion in a big way. After a long battle on the phones, a German collector secured his prize for €330,000 (£300,000). That set an auction record for the artist.