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Picasso’s Portrait Of His Young Lover Expected To Go Under The Hammer For $55M
By Alexa Heah, 07 Apr 2021
Image via EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
Pablo Picasso’s 1932 portrait Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) (Woman Sitting Near a Window) features his teenage lover and “golden muse”. Created during a critical point in his career, the artwork will go up for auction at Christie’s 20th Century Art Evening Sale in New York come May 11. Current price estimates are at US$55 million, although the piece last sold for £28.6m (US$44.8m, including fees) in February 2013.
As famous portraits go, this one certainly comes with an intriguing backstory. While still married to Olga Khokhlova, Picasso began an affair with the 17-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter. She then became the inspiration behind some of his most famed sculptures, drawings, and canvases.
According to The Art Newspaper, co-head of the 20th Century Sale Vanessa Fusco pointed out the portrait’s monumental scale. “At five feet tall, she lives on the canvas”, she said.
The artwork first appeared in an auction in 1997 – also at Christie’s New York – selling for US$6.8 million at the time. It has also been on public display in the Picasso 1932 exhibition at the Musee Picasso in Paris, and Tate Modern, London.
The portrait will be the star of Christie’s rebranded 20th Century Art Evening Sale, with other works from the 1870s to 1980s up for auction.
[via The Art Newspaper, cover image via EQRoy / Shutterstock.com]
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