Picasso’s Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee is expected to sell for £36m ($50m) when it auctions in London next month.
The piece will highlight Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on February 28. Because not only is this a Picasso, this is a Picasso par excellence.
It "represents what is most desirable for a connoisseur and collector of modern art"
It ticks many boxes art collectors look for:
Fresh to the market? Yes. Picasso held it until his death in 1973. Since then it has remained in the ownership of one individual, and has rarely been seen.
From a good year? Yes. Picasso produced this in 1937, the same year he created his vast masterpiece Guernica.
A bit of scandal? Yes. It depicts Picasso’s long-time lover and muse Marie-Therese Walter. But this marks the end of the relationship. She is about to be superseded by Picasso’s new love, Dora Maar.
Quintessential Picasso? Yes. This is the cubist Picasso at the height of his powers. The head of Sotheby’s London impressionist & modern art evening sales, Thomas Bompard, explains: “Of all of the artist’s styles and decades, this is the one that most epitomises the legacy of Picasso as a portraitist of women – with this particular painting encompassing all of the key elements for which he is recognised and celebrated.
“It undoubtedly represents what is most desirable for a connoisseur and collector of modern art.”
The record for a Picasso stands at $179.3m, set by Les Femmes d'Alger Version O in 2015.
The sale will also feature Marc Chagall’s Le Village bleu, valued at £2.5m ($3.4m), and Fernand Leger’s £2.4m ($3.3)-estimated Trois femmes.
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