Picasso art last seen 72 years ago could sell for $19.3m at Christie's


One of Picasso's masterpieces which has not been seen in public for 72 years, will be put for sale in unusual circumstances at Christie's in London later today, June 21.

His work, Jeune Fille Endormie, was last seen in a Masters of Modern Art exhibition held in 1939, and has been privately owned since.

Now however, the portrait which was painted in 1935 by the Spanish legend is going under the hammer.


Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso's mistress, has a special place in the art world

It has been handed an estimate of between £9,000,000-12,000,000 ($14,508,000-19,344,000) but given the always popular work of Pablo Picasso, and the fact that his pieces often sell for extremely high amounts of money, this could well beaten.

Indeed, it is one of his paintings, called Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, which currently holds the World Record for the most expensive artwork ever to be sold at auction.

Last year, in May 2010, it sold at Christie's for an astounding £65.8 ($106.5m), to a private bidder. He took the accolade for the most expensive artist ever by beating Alberto Giacometti, who had actually taken it from Picasso in the first place.

The smashing of those records showed just how lively the art market has become, and with Picasso's works being the most valuable in the world, it would pay dividends to invest in one.

The portrait being sold is of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter, with the vibrantly coloured piece depicting her sleeping with her head on her arms.

She was also the subject of Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, showing how important she was to Picasso, and now how central she is in the art world.

Unusually, the money made from the sale will be put towards paying for a research centre at the University of Sydney, in a rare incidence of proceeds from an auction being used for a specific purpose.


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