Portrait of Picasso's young mistress to be auctioned
By Bloomberg News
Published: Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, 8:48 p.m.
LONDON — A Pablo Picasso painting of his lover Marie-Therese Walter is estimated to sell for as much as $56 million at an auction here next month.
The artist's canvas “Femme assise pres d'une fenetre,” showing a serene Walter seated in a black armchair, is among 61 works being offered by Sotheby's in its Feb. 5 auction of Impressionist, modern and Surrealist art. The auction is valued at as much as $240 million.
The young blonde is described in biographies as the married artist's mistress, model and muse. Picasso's paintings of her have become wealthy art collectors' ultimate early-20th-century trophies. The 1932 Walter canvas “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” fetched $106.5 million, then a record for any artwork at auction, at Christie's International, New York, in May 2010.
This latest painting from the series to appear at auction was made by Picasso at his rural retreat, the Chateau de Boisgeloup, near Gisors, northwest of Paris, on Oct. 30, 1932. The country house was a favorite venue for their trysts.
The work is entered from a European private collection and has a formal valuation of $40 million to $56 million, based on hammer prices. It was last seen on the auction market in 1997 and is guaranteed to sell courtesy of a third-party “irrevocable” bid, Sotheby's said.
The 45-year-old Picasso, then unhappily married to Olga Khokhlova, met his girlfriend by chance on the streets of Paris in 1927. Then 17, Walter remained close to the artist until about 1935. For years he supported her and their daughter financially.
Khokhlova found out about the affair when portraits of Walter were hung with Cubist and Surrealist works in a Picasso retrospective at the Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, according to the Sotheby's catalog.
The auction includes the Claude Monet water-lily painting “Nympheas avec reflets de Hautes Herbes.” The work dates from 1914-17 and is estimated at $19.3 million to $29 million.
The earlier Monet snow scene, “Le Givre a Giverny,” from 1885, has emerged from the English collection of the late Earl of Jersey, who acquired it from a London dealer in 1943. It is now valued at $6.4 million to $9.6 million.
Joan Miro's 1945 canvas “Femme revant de l'evasion,” related to the Spanish Surrealist artist's “Constellation” series of a few years earlier, is from the U.S.-based collection of Miriam and Ira Wallach. The work hasn't been seen on the market for more than 50 years and is priced at $12.8 million to $19.2 million.
The sale has a lower total formal estimate of $165.7 million.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Egypt strikes a perilous repose
- Study: Afghan copter choice not best
- Defense Secretary Hagel skips visit with Afghan President Karzai
- Autobahn toll plan attracts backlash
- Becoming extra wife is fantasy in Kazakhstan
- Mexico may open up oil production
- Protesters rip fences, Chevron’s plans
- Taste of free enterprise whets Cubans’ appetite
- Bali summit yields global trade deal
- Iran presses ahead with uranium
- Sentences reduced for 14 female protesters in Egypt