Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale has been highlighted by the sale of Picasso's Femme assise pres d'une fenetre, a legendary depiction of his "golden muse", Marie-Therese Walter.
The auction was held yesterday (February 5) in London, with Picasso's masterpiece selling for £28.6m ($44.7m), comfortably within its £25m-35m estimate.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the 1932 piece was secured by a single telephone bid from an Asian buyer, who also purchased Egon Schiele's Lovers - Self Portrait with Wally for £7.8m ($12.4m).
Since the slight downturn of China's economy, Asian buying on this scale has slowed down considerably. However, yesterday's sale saw several of the highest-selling artworks secured by Asian bidders, showing a return of confidence in Western art.
The Picasso work was originally exhibited as part of the artist's major retrospective in the summer of 1932. This event is renowned within the art world as the moment when Picasso first revealed his mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, to his wife, Olga Kokhlova, leading to the downfall of their marriage.
Picasso would go on to create many other portraits of Marie-Therese, with another piece from the 1932 series, entitled Nature morte aux tulips, selling for $41m at Sotheby's last Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in November.
Join the thriving market for Picasso with Paul Fraser Collectibles. We have a signed postcard of The Absinthe Drinker, one of the most famous works from his Blue Period. We also have signed, handwritten letters from French impressionists Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which will provide the perfect complement to any collection.
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