Picasso's Child with Dove painting could auction at Christie's for $79.2m

As we've reported, last year's sales totals by artist had someone other than Picasso at the top for only the second time in 14 years. In fact Picasso was fourth, behind Chinese greats Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi and old rival in the financial stakes Andy Warhol.

This was more to do with the great surge of interest in the Chinese artists rather than a loss of appetite for the Spanish genius, but nevertheless many were surprised.

Now it seems that this year could see the sale of one of Picasso's major works from a private Welsh collection, which could buoy up Picasso's sales totals in a way that pieces like his depiction of Notre Dame are never likely to.

Picasso's painting Child with a Dove was painted when the artist was just 19 and is instantly recognisable. Tate Britain is showing it at the moment as part of its current Picasso exhibition.

Christie's has indicated that it has been approached about the possibility of selling the work, and some estimates have put its value at £50m.

Child with Dove Picasso
Child with Dove by Picasso

It is thought that this will be too much for any British gallery to be able to afford, and as The National Gallery has recently made the expensive purchase of Titian's Diana and Callisto, there is a high chance the painting will leave the UK if it is sold. It has regularly been on display in Britain since the 1970s.

Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust remains the most expensive art work to be sold at auction, achieving $106m in 2010. Collectors keen to own a work by an iconic contemporary artist but without that sort of money should look at an exciting sketch from another extremely famous artist, Salvador Dali, which we have in stock.

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