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Picasso Artworks Fetch Over $100M At Auction In Under An Hour
By Alexa Heah, 26 Oct 2021
Image via Sotheby’s
In August, it was reported that iconic Pablo Picasso paintings were going up for auction via Sotheby’s at the MGM Bellagio in Las Vegas. Last week, the 11 works sold for US$108 million, surpassing original estimates of US$70.5 million to US$100 million.
A portrait of the artist’s muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, fetched the highest price at the auction, eventually selling for US$40.5 million. It’s presumed to have exceeded the irreversible bid the painting had come in with, which is a rare occurrence as art pieces with irrevocable bids on the block usually sell on a single bid to the original backer.
The sale only lasted 45 minutes in total, with bidders seated in the Bellagio ballroom or tuning in via livestream.
The artworks have been on display in the hotel for nearly 20 years, with five of the paintings showcased right in the heart of the casino’s restaurant. They were introduced by the hotel’s previous owner, Steve Wynn, who had a substantial collection of blue-chip art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Other highlights include portrait Homme et Enfant (1969), which sold for US$24.4 million. And Buste d’Homme (1969), which had been displayed over the casino’s bar, sold for US$9.5 million.
According to ARTnews, MGM had wanted to sell these artworks in a bid to present more works by diverse artists. It still has an additional 12 Picasso artworks it will keep on view at the hotel.
[via ARTnews, cover image via Sotheby’s]
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