Picasso Painting Spotlights Christie’s Auction
Following Christie’s announcement last month when she held two reformatted evening auctions during May 20th / 21st Art Week in May. Debuted in the 19th century, a 1932 portrait of Pablo Picasso entitled Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) will be auctioned.
Picasso met Marie-Thérèse Walter at the age of only 17, when she was still living with his ex-wife Olga Khoklova. She became the muse of the Spanish artist as well as the mother of his first daughter Maya. Walter also inspired one of his most famous pieces, the Vollard Suite, which was completed between 1930 and 1937. Their relationship ended when Picasso met Dora Maar in 1936.
The current painting shows Walter sitting upright on a chair while she looks directly at the viewer; it seems to be winged. The portrait was taken at his studio in Boisgeloup, France and is expected to sell for an estimated $ 55 million.
“Our reaction to seeing it was very visceral,” Vanessa Fusco, Christie’s co-director of 20th Century Evening Sales, told ARTnews. The most striking aspect of the piece, Fusco added, is “the incredible presence of this woman and the agency he has given her that you don’t always see in his portrayals of her.”
The current owner of the painting purchased the piece from Sotheby’s in 2013 for $ 45 million at a premium. Before that, it sold for $ 6.8 million in 1997 after modern art dealers Stephen Hahn and Jan Krugier received it from the artist’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso.
The large-format portrait is to be exhibited in Hong Kong from April 12 to 14, before it goes to auction on May 11 at the house’s New York headquarters.
Elsewhere in art, the art historian creates the NFT of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi.