Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Picasso at Auction

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on 20 June 2018

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Pablo Picasso,Femme dans un fauteuil, 1942, Estimate on Request 

Pablo Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil of 1942,  will be a leading highlight of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Saleon 20 June 2018. One of a major series of full-scale portraits, painted during the war, Femme dans un fauteuil depicts Picasso’s great muse of the period Dora Maar, the surrealist photographer and painter. 
Dora brought great colour, beauty and vivacity into Picasso’s life during the difficultperiods of the Spanish Civil War and the German occupation of Paris. Dora Maar’s presence in Picasso’s life,from the moment they met in 1935 until the time their relationship ended around 1945, inspired some of the greatest portraits of the artist’s prolific career. Femme dans un fauteuil remained in the artist’s collection until his death when it passed toJacqueline Picasso and was eventually sold through the agency of Picasso’s dealer, Galerie Louise Leiris in Paris.

It is a painting that has been rarely exhibited having remained in the artist’s family for many years. It was first shown in an exhibition of Jacqueline Picasso’s collection in 1986 and has largely disappeared from public view since that time. 

Among the most highly worked portraits of Dora that Picasso painted during the Second World War, Femme dans un fauteuil features the iconic distortions which dominated his visions of his raven-haired muse and is notable for its strikingly beautiful colours and the dynamic way in which Picasso has described the sitter’s body. Many of the greatest depictions of Dora of the 1940s share the vibrant colours and dynamism of the present painting and it is perhaps for this reason that it was kept in the Picasso family for so many years.What is most unusual about the work is that it has been so rarely exhibited.
Created in April 1942, Femme dans un fauteuil was executed whilst Picasso wasliving in occupied Paris. Although he had received offers of sanctuary from friends in the United States and Mexico at the outbreak of the conflict, Picasso chose to remain in France, living a quiet life in his studio at 7 rues des Grands-Augustins. 
Labelled a ‘degenerate’ artist during the Nazi campaign against modern art, the artist’s presence in the city did not go unnoticed by the German forces. While he was allowed to continue to work, Picasso was forbidden from exhibiting any of his art publicly. He remained under close and constant observation by the Gestapo, and his studio was visited on a number of occasions, during which he was questioned as to the whereabouts of friends and former colleagues now in hiding.
Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President, Christie’s: 
“Dora Maar is without question Picasso’s most recognisable muse who inspired him throughout the war years in Europe. She remained a beacon of hope, beauty and compassion during this difficult period. We are honoured to have the opportunity tosell such a major work by Picasso, the Mozart of the 20thCentury, which has rarely been seen in public since its acquisition from the family many years after the artist’s death. It is a complex and striking portrait of Dora at her beautiful and noble best.”

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening  Sale in London on 19 June 2018.  

 In this painting, Marie -Thérèse’s unmistakeable profile and sweep of blonde hair are silhouetted  in front of a window at the Château de Boisgeloup, the grand house outside of Paris acquired by  Picasso in 1930. Her sensual curves are echoed by the diffused green light emanating fr om the  gardens beyond the window – the deliberate juxtaposition of the horizontals and verticals of the  window frame with the soft curves of her body masterfully emphasising her form. 

The palette is  characteristic of Picasso’s key depictions of Marie -Thérèse during this year. The composition  recalls both his celebrated Cubist paintings and the series of monumental sculpted heads that he  created in 1931, again inspired by Marie -Thérèse . It is the intensity and passion of the paintings  from 1932 that mark them out as unique amongst the artist’s work.   

Marie -Thérèse Walter entered Picasso’s life one day in January 1927, capturing his attention at  first sight on the streets of Paris at a time when his turbulent relationship with his wife Olga was  floundering. An intensely  passionate  – and creatively inspiring – relationship,  this chance meeting  with  Marie -Thérèse  galvanised his life and art . She quickly became a source of creative inspiration  and veiled references to her appear in his art from that point on. However, it was only five years  later in 1932 – following a landmark exhibition at Galerie Georges Petit , Paris – that the artist  announced  Marie -Thérèse as an extraordinary presence in his life and art through his paintings.  

 Picasso almost never painted his muses from life, his depictions being inspired by the memory of  them and the metamorphic power of his erotic imagination. With Marie -Thérèse  in particular,  the artist’s inspiration reached fever pitch in the long periods they were forced to spend apart.  Here, he evokes her in a quietly contemplative mood – perhaps  picturing her  lover  as she writes .  

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale 1 March 2017

Pablo Picasso, Plant de tomates, oil on canvas, painted in Paris between 6- 9 August 1944 (est. £10,000,000-15,000,000)

Symbolic of victory in Europe, Picasso’s series of five paintings of a tomato plant in bloom in the Paris apartment he shared with his lover Marie-Thérèse are ripe with personal as well as wider political and cultural significance – a way of reflecting the spirit of hope and resilience that characterised this time. The most complex and visually striking example from the most sought- after series of the war period, Plant de tomates has been in a private collection for four decades since it was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1976. This exquisite work is expected to fetch £10,000,000 – 15,000,000 as part of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale in London on 1 March 2017. 

In the summer of 1944, Picasso was staying with Marie-Thérèse at the Boulevard Henri IV in the weeks before the Liberation of Paris from the Nazis by the Allied Forces. Picasso began to take notice of the potted tomato plant that was growing besides the window of the apartment. These were not uncommon in civilian households throughout Europe at a time when food rations limited the amount of available produce for consumption. Seeing the resilient plant as a sign of hope as it continued to bear fruit, Picasso painted five canvases of the plant on a window sill between August 3 and August 12, 1944 – varying in degrees of abstraction. Thus he recorded this consequence of war as a source of admiration and a metaphor of human perseverance in times of strife. 
In this work, the branches of the plant are weighed down with the heavy tomatoes – their arched shapes standing in contrast with the strong horizontals and verticals of the window, which fragment the composition into a grid-like form. For his palette, Picasso chose vibrant shades of red and green to emphasise the lush and fertile nature of the plant. The background view outside the window is painted with varying shades of yellow and grey, calling to mind the smoke and gunfire that could be heard throughout the city during these frightening last weeks of the war. Rarely has Picasso invested a still-life with such meaning and sociological importance.

Although not an active member of the Resistance movement, Picasso’s artistic activity during the war was deemed as heroic by many of his contemporaries around the world. His art was blacklisted by the Nazi regime and he was not permitted to exhibit his pictures publicly by government decree. However, by this point in his career, Picasso was financially secure and the paintings that he completed during this period remained in his studio – only to be exhibited after the war. 

A series of photographs that renowned photographer Cecil Beaton took of Picasso’s studio at rue des Grands-Augustins, several of them showing this work, gives remarkable insight into Picasso's work during this period. In the days leading to the Liberation – and in the midst of his painting of the tomato plant series – Picasso met with several British and American journalists and soldiers who wished to praise him for his accomplishment at his studio. 

Pablo Picasso
Femme nue assise
oil on canvas
Painted in Mougins between 3
8 January 1965.
Estimate: £9,500,000-12,500,000 

Painted at the home that Picasso shared with Jacqueline in Mougins, Femme nue assise is one of a series of large powerful canvases on the theme of the seated female nude that bear witness to the extraordinary energy and creative urge that characterised the artist’s later years. The painting has a monumental, sculptural presence and is invariably depicted with a powerful sense of the tension
between the invisible artist and his sitter. 

Painted in confident brushstrokes, Picasso was able to isolate the symbols of erotic desire and threat embodied in the female nude – subjects that fascinated and preoccupied him. The motif of a nude figure seated in an armchair occurred repeatedly throughout Picasso’s career. While varying in style and depicting different women that marked each period of the artist’s life, these always served as a vehicle of expressing the palpable sexual tension between the painter and his model. 

The female figure here is inspired by Jacqueline Roque, the last love of Picasso’s life. Jacqueline’s striking features are accentuated in an angular, fragmented manner – the roots of which go back to the artist’s cubist experiments. Whilst borrowing elements from his own artistic past, Picasso created an image with a force and freedom he only achieved in the last decade of his career. 

Pablo Picasso
Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc
oil on board
Painted on 25th March 1953 Estimate: £6,500,000-9,500,000 

“Je vois souvent une lumière et une ombre” – Pablo Picasso 

Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc is a striking monochromatic portrait of Picasso’s lover Françoise Gilot that encapsulates his unique technical ability and at the same time, it is a personal, intimate work revealing the artist’s emotional state. Picasso’s monochrome works have recently been the subject of a highly acclaimed exhibition Picasso Black and White at the Guggenheim in New York, in which this work was exhibited. 

The period when Picasso was living in the south of France with Françoise and their two children is known as his Mediterranean Years, marked by a great personal fulfilment that filtered into his portraits of her – resulting in some of his most elegant and innovative artistic explorations. Using only white paint, Picasso reverses the traditional notion of line and background and thus pushes the boundaries of two-dimensional representation. He allows passages of unpainted brown board to play the role of the line that describes the features of his sitter, and this linear treatment renders the work extremely sculptural. 
oil on canvas
38 1/8 by 51 1/8 in.
Painted between 20th and 26th March 1967.

$8,049,600 - 11,764,80
Nu couché et tête d’homme is a stunning brilliantly coloured example of one of Picasso’s favourite themes, that of the artist and model. This series of works proved to be one of his most passionate and energetic projects, inspired by the final love of his life, Jacqueline Roque. 

In this example, the male figure is depicted as a musketeer – rendered with a wealth of vibrant colours, yet his presence is a mere bust dominated by his nude companion. This vainglorious musketeer is a form of self-portraiture for the artist, and the iconography of this is indicative of Picasso’s self-awareness in the last decade of his life. The motif of the reclining nude, reminiscent of Titian, is an example of Picasso’s later works featuring subjects that referred back to great classic examples. Picasso no longer had anything to prove, so his main interlocutors in these  works belong to the past. 

Jacqueline was Picasso’s devoted second wife, who remained with him until his death in 1973, and his renderings of the unmistakable raven-haired beauty outnumber those of any other woman in his life. In this work, the female figure possesses Jacqueline’s recognisable strong nose and dark hair and her voluptuous curves and unrestrained pose represent the object of the artist’s desire. Positioned directly in front of the viewer, Jacqueline is identified as the universal and ultimate feminine representation. The love that Picasso felt for his wife is reflected in the passionate vitality of the colours and the excitement radiating from this canvas.

May 15, 2017 Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

Pablo Picasso. Femme assise, robe bleue. Oil on canvas. Painted on 25 October 1939. Estimate: $35,000,000-50,000,000.

On May 15, Christie’s will offer Femme assise, robe bleue by Pablo Picasso as a highlight of its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale (Estimate: $35,000,000-50,000,000). Painted on 25 October 1939, Femme assise, robe bleue is a searing portrait of Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar. Painted on the artist's birthday just after the beginning of the World War II, the work is filled with the unique character, distortions and tension that mark Picasso’s greatest portraits of Dora; at the same time, there is a tender sensuality present in the organic, curvaceous forms of the face which provides some insight into their relationship. 
This picture was formerly owned by G. David Thompson, to whom the great curator and art historian Alfred H. Barr, Jr. referred as, 'one of the great collectors of the art of our time.' (A.H. Barr, Jr., 'Foreword', auction catalogue, Parke-Bernet, New York, 1966, n.p.).
Giovanna Bertazzoni, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked,  

Femme assise, robe bleue is an extraordinary portrait of Picasso’s great Muse and love, Dora Maar. It exhibits all of the most exhilarating qualities that Dora brought out in Picasso’s work: the striking palette, ornate headwear, and remarkable complexity conveyed by Dora’s distorted features. The rich, thick twirls of oil depicting the mass of her hair (which Picasso was mesmerised by) and the shapes of her hat convey ‎the impetus and passion at the core of this portrait. We are bringing Femme assise, robe bleue to the market at a time when the demand for Picasso’s portraits of one of his greatest subjects, Dora Maar, is at an all-time high. The canvas is a powerful example of Picasso’s creative imagination and the passion which Dora inspired in him.”
Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, EMERI continued:  

Femme assise, robe bleue is a timeless icon of artist and muse which speaks to collectors across the centuries and continents.  Coming from a major European collection, the picture holds within it an incredible story.  It originally belonged to Picasso’s dealer, Paul Rosenberg but was confiscated in 1940 soon after its creation.  Later in the War it was intended to be transported to Germany but was famously intercepted and captured by members of the French Resistance, an event immortalised, albeit in fictional form, in the 1966 movie The Train, starring Burt Lancaster and Jeanne Moreau. In real life, one of the people who helped to sabotage the National Socialists’ attempt to remove countless artworks from France towards the end of the war was in fact Alexandre Rosenberg. The son of Paul Rosenberg, he had enlisted with the Free French Forces after the invasion of France in 1940.  The painting was subsequently owned by the Pittsburgh steel magnate and legendary collector, George David Thompson, from whose collection many works now grace the walls of museums in the United States and Europe.  We fully expect the romance and power of this painting and its remarkable story to capture the hearts and minds of our global collectors of masterpieces from Old Masters to Contemporary, this May.”

Dora Maar was one of Picasso's most important Muses. His affair with Dora came in the latter years of his relationship with Marie-Thérèse Walter. Marie-Thérèse had been young, blond and athletic, with a sunny disposition and a sweet character; Picasso's time with her had resulted in flowing, sensual images. 
Dora was a marked contrast, as is demonstrated by Femme assise, robe bleue: a complex, troubled character, intellectual and creative, a photographer and an artist in her own right. She was a sparring partner for Picasso, a challenging voice, having already been an established figure in Surreal circles by the time the pair were introduced.
Picasso often presented Dora with her signature hats that she often sported, a quality that distinguishes her among Picasso’s muses at first glance. Certainly in Femme assise, robe bleue the hat is present and correct, a striped purple confection with what appears to be a green feather or foliage of some sort. These hats often add a playful air to Picasso's paintings of Dora. They also serve as a counterbalance to the severity with which he presented her features, as is the case in the shifting, vulnerable flesh of Femme assise, robe bleue
Some critics have linked the pictures of Dora specifically to tension caused by the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. However, it appears that Picasso, whose paintings often functioned as a barometer for his own state of mind, had found a Muse who was perfectly suited to his tense depictions of that period. It was both Dora's personality and a wider sense of unease at the situation in the world that Picasso managed to express in these bracing paintings.
Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Sale on 27 June 2017
Pablo Picasso, Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) (1934, estimate: £25,000,000-40,000,000), © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2017
Pablo Picasso’s tender portrait Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) (1934, estimate: £25,000,000-40,000,000) will be a leading highlight of Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, in London on 27 June 2017 as part of 20th Century at Christie’s, a series of sales that take place from 17 to 30 June 2017.

Painted on 26 March 1934, Pablo Picasso’s Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) is a joyous, colour-filled and deeply personal portrayal of Marie-Thérèse Walter, the young, blond-haired woman who, when she entered the artist’s life in January 1927, influenced the course of his art in an unprecedented manner. Femme écrivant is one of the greatest portraits of Marie-Thérèse, a radiant and intimate depiction of Picasso’s lover, which, along with the preceding paintings of the early 1930s, epitomises one of the finest phases in the artist’s career. The painting will be on view in Hong Kong from 5 to 9 of June 2017 before being exhibited in London from 17 to 27 June 2017.

Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life aroused a creative explosion; her youthful innocence, vitality, devotion and love was responsible for a renaissance in every area of his artistic production. By the beginning of 1931, her image began to saturate his sculpture and painting in radiant, euphoric form. Enthroned in an ornate brown leather studded chair, pictured in the midst of writing a letter, in Femme écrivant, Marie-Thérèse is seated in front of what appears to be a window, the daylight and pale blue sky of the outside world flooding into the secluded room in which she writes and illuminating her delicate features.

Picasso painted Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) in Boisgeloup, the secluded and picturesque château situated near Gisors, a small Normandy village northwest of Paris that he had bought in the summer of 1930. It was here that Picasso painted what are now recognised as the greatest depictions of Marie-Thérèse;

works such as the 1932 Le Rêve (Private Collection; Zervos VII, no. 364 sold at Christie’s, New York, 10 November 1997 for a record $48,402,500),  

Femme nue, feuilles et buste (sold at Christie’s, New York, 4 May 2010 for a record $106,482,500)

and Femme nue dans un fauteuil rouge (Tate Gallery, London; Zervos VII, no. 395).

Giovanna Bertazzoni, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist & Modern Art, Christie’s: 

 Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) was created in 1934 at the height of Picasso’s admiration for his youthful and captivating muse Marie Thérèse. The impact she had on his creative process began when they first met but truly took hold of his heart and hand in the portraits he executed in his studio in Boisgeloup. This portrait remained in the artist’s collection until 1961, demonstrating the deep affection he held towards Marie Thérèse and the emotional significance it had for the artist. Picasso’s portraits of his muses capture the imagination and attention of collectors worldwide, now more than ever. Picasso represents a truly global phenomenon in the present art market, attracting buyers from Europe, America and Asia. Mainland Chinese collectors are, in particular, very aware of the power of his revolutionary style, and the significant role he occupies in the canon of modern Western Art. It’s an exciting time to offer such a strong, iconic and private painting by Picasso on the open market, and we are eager to see how it will touch and move collectors around the world in the forthcoming weeks ahead of the auction.”

Pablo Picasso’s Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) (1934, estimate: £25,000,000-40,000,000) completes the group of masterpieces from the June sale and is a radiant and intimate portrait that epitomises one of the finest periods of the artist’s career. It represents the pinnacle of the artist’s portrayals of one of his most celebrated muses.

Painted on 26 March 1934, Femme écrivant (Marie-Thérèse) dates from the pinnacle of Marie-Thérèse’s supreme reign in Picasso’s art. 1934 was a particularly prolific year for Picasso and was the final period that the pair spent wrapped in the uninterrupted bliss of their love. While Marie-Thérèse most often appears as a sensuously reclining, somnolent nude or a stylised vision enthroned in a chair, a passive object of adoration, in the present work Picasso has depicted her in an upright, active state, engaged in the act of writing a letter – a common form of exchange that Marie-Thérèse and the artist used to express their affection amidst the secrecy of their relationship.
Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art on 13 November 2017


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme accroupie (Jacqueline), Painted on 8 October 1954
Oil on canvas, 57 1/2 x 44 7/8 in. | Estimate: $20-30 million
© 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Christie’s will offer Pablo Picasso’s Femme accroupie (Jacqueline), painted on October 8, 1954 as a central highlight of its Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on 13 November in New York. Marking its first time at auction, Femme accroupie (Jacqueline) comes from a private collection, and is estimated to sell for $20-30 million. 
Christie’s Global President, Jussi Pylkkanen, remarked,  
“Jacqueline was a beautiful woman and one of Picasso’s most elegant muses. This painting of Jacqueline hung in Picasso’s private collection for many years and has rarely been seen in public since 1954. It is a museum quality painting on the grand scale which will capture the imagination of the global art market when it is offered at Christie’s New York this November.”
The brilliant primary colors in Femme accroupie (Jacqueline) illustrate a sunny day in the South of France during early autumn, 1954. Picasso and Jacqueline Roque, his ultimate paramour and eventual second wife, had begun living together in the Midi and would soon return to Paris to reside in the artist’s studio. The present painting is one of three large-easel-format canvases that Picasso painted on October 8th, in a flourish of portraits that celebrate the artist’s new mistress, declaring her newly established pride of place in the artist’s life and work. 
In each of the three October paintings, Jacqueline is seated on the floor; in a compact, crouching pose, clasping her knees. From an open window behind her, golden light fills the room. The space is likely a corner of Picasso’s studio on the rue du Fournas in Vallauris, in a building that had previously housed a perfume factory, the scents from which still graced the air. 
Jessica Fertig, Senior Vice President, Head of Evening Sale, Christie’s New York, continued,  
We are thrilled to be bringing to market for the first time this powerful portrait of Picasso’s great love Jacqueline. Picasso delighted in capturing Jacqueline’s beautiful features, here rendered with a wonderfully thick impasto. Picasso embarked on his late, great period, which his biographer John Richardson succinctly defined and characterized as “l’époque Jacqueline“—It is Jacqueline's image that dominates Picasso's work from 1954 until his death, longer than any of the women who preceded her.”
The color forms in Femme accroupie (Jacqueline) reflect Picasso’s admiration for Matisse’s distinctive cut outs. Less than a month after completing the present portrait, Matisse, who was the only living artist whom Picasso recognized as his peer, passed away. 
 Les femmes d’Alger, Picasso, version O.jpg

A month after that Picasso commenced work on his painted variations, which would finally number fifteen in all, on Delacroix’s two versions of Les femmes d’Alger. The series was ostensibly his tribute to the Delacroix-inspired odalisques of Matisse, to honor the memory of his longtime rival, but also an admired friend. The Femmes d’Alger paintings are also a declaration of affection for Jacqueline. 


 An homage to Delacroix had been on Picasso’s mind for more than a decade, and the advent of Jacqueline, just as importantly as the idea of a tribute to Matisse, induced Picasso to undertake his own series of odalisques. Picasso had become intrigued at Jacqueline's resemblance to the odalisque crouching at lower right in the Louvre version of Delacroix’s harem scene, whose face is seen in left profile. 

Buste de femme au chapeau - Picasso - 1943

Pablo Picasso’s Portrait de Femme Buste de femme au chapeau (Dora Maar) 
Painted on 28 May 1943  With its severely simplified, jagged composition, Portrait de Femme is an emblematic portrait of one of the artist’s most influential muses, Dora Maar. However, breaking from the wartime tension that often defines Picasso’s portraits of Maar, this canvas also encompasses a measure of humor and delight in her likeness. The large and striking hat worn by the subject, is a definitive element of Picasso’s portraits of Maar. She regularly sported whimsical hats, and Picasso often utilized them as a symbolic externalization of her inner moods, as well as a counterbalance to the severity with which he presented her features.
Sotheby's IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART 14 November 2017

Sotheby’s will present Pablo Picasso’s Buste de femme au chapeau as a highlight of their Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 14 November 2017. Characterized by its vibrant color palette, sharp angularity and bold form, the portrait is a salient example of the Madonna-and-Magdalene dichotomy that manifested in Picasso’s work while he was simultaneously involved with two of his greatest muses: Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar. This tumultuous time in the artist’s life in turn yielded one of the most groundbreaking and creative periods of his oeuvre.
The daring oil painting is being sold to benefit charitable organizations including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and carries a pre-sale estimate of $18/25 million.

The present work illustrates a particularly turbulent time in the Picasso’s life – his mother died in January 1939, during a period of intense political upheaval throughout Europe and particularly in the artist’s native Spain. However, this period also provided the impetus for some of Picasso’s most revolutionary stylistic techniques.
Unable to travel to Spain and living in a country facing increasing pressure from Nazi Germany, Picasso maintained relationships with both Marie-Thérèse and Maar. Both of the women, markedly different in their temperament and physical appearance, populated Picasso’s life and his paintings, and the present work is a strong manifestation of their shared influence throughout his oeuvre. While many attributes of Buste de femme au chapeau point to Marie-Thérèse − the blonde sweep of hair and bright-yet-soft tonalities of the palette − whispers of Maar are also reflected.
In contrast with his depictions of a more passive Marie-Thérèse, the present painting is one of Picasso’s most animated, tactile and sculptural renderings of the young woman. Her figure is punctuated with incisions into the thick paint, adding dimension to her features. Maar’s presence appears vis-a-vis the artist's focus on Marie-Thérèse's hat. While the accessory may have been important to the sitter at the time, its significance in this painting is elucidated in retrospect. Maar was immortalized in Picasso's portraits as the wearer of stylish hats, and what may have been an flamboyant personal item to Marie-Thérèse at the time, becomes a symbolic indicator of her status as the saintly new mother of Picasso's daughter, and the antithesis of her new rival.

Christie’s New York in the Spring of 2018 
A Picasso Rose Period masterpiece, executed in 1905, Fillette à la corbeille fleurie is a highlight of the collection (estimate in the region of $70 million). Rich in pathos in its depiction of bohemian life at the turn of the 20th century, this rare work is a technical tour de force of draftsmanship and atmosphere. 

The painting maintains a storied provenance; it was acquired in 1905 by brother and sister, Leo and Gertrude Stein, and passed to Alice B. Toklas upon Gertrude’s death in 1946, where it remained throughout Alice’s lifetime for another 21 years. 

In 1968, David Rockefeller formed a group of important art collectors to acquire the renowned collection of Gertrude Stein. Drawing slips of numbered paper from a felt hat, David Rockefeller drew the first pick in the syndicate, and he and Peggy were able to acquire their first choice of the Young Girl with a Flower Basket, and placed it in the library of their 65th Street New York townhouse.
Christie’s Impressionist And Modern Art Evening Sale, 27 February 2018


Pablo Picasso, Mousquetaire et nu assis, oil and Ripolin on canvas  (1967, estimate: £12,000,000-18,000,000)

Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece Mousquetaire et nu assis (1967, estimate: £12,000,000-18,000,000) will be a leading highlight of Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, in London on 27 February 2018 as part of ‘20th Century at Christie’s’, a series of sales that take place from 20 February to 7 March 2018. 

Painted with gestural, lavishly and passionately applied brushstrokes, it is among the first of the triumphant musketeers that appeared in Pablo Picasso’s art in 1967. This iconic figure is accompanied by a sensuous, seated nude. With her shock of dark hair, hieratic posture, and her large, all-seeing almond shaped eyes, there is no question as to the identity of this woman: she is Jacqueline, the artist’s final, great love, muse and wife, whose presence permeated every female figure in this final chapter of Picasso’s life. 

With one eye towards the Old Masters and another towards contemporary art, Picasso shows himself still challenging the history of art, carrying out iconoclastic attacks, plundering the past and doing so in a strikingly fresh, gestural way. Steeped in eroticism, a sense of painterly bravado, and pulsating with a vital sense of energy, this painting paved the way for the themes, style and execution that would come to define this late phase of Picasso’s oeuvre. 

Keith Gill, Head of Sale, Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Christie’s, London: “Picasso’s late career was defined by sensuous paintings in which he cast himself as the virile artist alongside his voluptuous lover. The allegorical figures were used by Picasso not only to reference fictitious characters but were a means by which he could situate himself firmly within the art historical canon alongside the likes of Rembrandt, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. He seemed to have a sense of urgency to his work in this period, as if trying to beat the passage of time, a feeling that is evidenced by the dense brushwork and bold gestures of ‘Mousquetaire et nu assis’. It is a privilege to present the painting as a leading highlight in the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.”
Throughout his life, Picasso had frequently been drawn to historical, classical, or mythological ‘types’: he was the melancholic harlequin, monstrous minotaur and the courageous torero. Now, in the final decade of his life, Picasso transformed himself for a final time into the brave, adventurous and virile musketeer, clad in ornate costumes, ready for daring escapades, romantic exploits and heroic deeds. In this final act of self-rejuvenation and artistic resurgence, this character became the façade that Picasso presented to the world during the remaining years of his life.

For Picasso, the figure of the musketeer had a wealth of varied art historical origins: from Hals and Rembrandt, to Meissonier, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. This striking, dark-featured character, part Spanish,  part French, part Dutch, with his elegant seventeenth-century garb, could as easily have stepped out of Las Meninas as The Night Watch

Picasso was fuelled by a desire to beat the inexorable passage of time, something that led him to paint with a new speed. In many ways, reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionists, his brushstrokes are thick and visceral, irrevocable gestures that boldly declare the hand of the artist himself, memorialising his presence in paint upon the canvas.

Keith Gill, Head of Sale, Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Christie’s, London

Picasso’s late career was defined by sensuous paintings in which he cast himself as the virile artist alongside his voluptuous lover. The allegorical figures were used by Picasso not only to reference fictitious characters but were a means by which he could situate himself firmly within the art historical canon alongside the likes of Rembrandt, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. He seemed to have a sense of urgency to his work in this period, as if trying to beat the passage of time, a feeling that is evidenced by the dense brushwork and bold gestures of ‘Mousquetaire et nu assis’. It is a privilege to present the painting as a leading highlight in the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.”

Throughout his life, Picasso had frequently been drawn to historical, classical, or mythological ‘types’: he was the melancholic harlequin, monstrous minotaur and the courageous torero. Now, in the final decade of his life, Picasso transformed himself for a final time into the brave, adventurous and virile musketeer, clad in ornate costumes, ready for daring escapades, romantic exploits and heroic deeds. In this final act of self-rejuvenation and artistic resurgence, this character became the façade that Picasso presented to the world during the remaining years of his life.

For Picasso, the figure of the musketeer had a wealth of varied art historical origins: from Hals and Rembrandt, to Meissonier, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. This striking, dark-featured character, part Spanish,  part French, part Dutch, with his elegant seventeenth-century garb, could as easily have stepped out of Las Meninas as The Night Watch. Picasso was fuelled by a desire to beat the inexorable passage of time, something that led him to paint with a new speed. In many ways, reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionists, his brushstrokes are thick and visceral, irrevocable gestures that boldly declare the hand of the artist himself, memorialising his presence in paint upon the canvas.

 Also included in the sale::
Pablo Picasso’s Le coq saigné (‘The bled cock’ 1947-8, estimate: £2,200,000 – 2,800,000).  Le coq saigné has been celebrated as one of the most visually complex and arresting works of the large series of still-lifes that the artist painted during and immediately following the Second World War. A sinuously interlocking composition of colour, planar form, line and pattern, the subject itself becomes almost entirely abstract.
Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art March 2018

Pablo Picasso Painting Sleeping Nude

‘The day I met Marie-Thérèse I realised that I had before me what I had always been dreaming about.’ - Pablo Picasso 


Phillips has announced that Pablo Picasso’s monumental Sleeping Nude will be sold as the centerpiece of Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London in March 2018. This extraordinary large-scale portrait of Picasso’s muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, was executed in 1932 and remained in Picasso’s own collection until the end of his life, when it was inherited by his widow, Jacqueline Roque, and subsequently by her daughter. Sleeping Nude is emblematic of an iconic period of Picasso’s oeuvre that was shaped by his devotion to Marie-Thérèse. The work was acquired in 1995 by the present owner, a European private collector. It will be on view at Phillips’ New York from 3 November, and Hong Kong from 23 November 2017.

Hugues Joffre, Senior Advisor to the CEO, said: “ ‘Sleeping Nude’ depicts one of Picasso’s greatest muses: Marie-Thérèse Walter. Against a background of frenzied lines, Picasso has painted Marie-Thérèse’s body through a series of swooping curves, hinting at his fascination with her sensuous body. This work, executed during an important creative surge in 1932, exemplifies the sinuous, sensual style of painting that gave way to a string of masterpieces that are now housed in museum collections throughout the world. 1932, and Marie-Thérèse are the current focus of a major exhibition at the Musée Picasso, Paris; ‘Picasso 1932. Année érotique’, which will then travel to Tate Modern, London in the Spring of 2018. In response to the solid and consistent demand for important 20th century art, Phillips will offer selected works from this period, and as such we are delighted to present ‘Sleeping Nude’ as the star lot of our March Evening Sale.”

‘I am Picasso! You and I are going to do great things together.’ - Pablo Picasso to Marie-Thérèse Walter, 8 January 1927

Picasso met Marie-Thérèse on 8 January 1927, having been so struck by her beauty and youthful vitality that he approached her outside the Galeries Lafayette. Marie-Thérèse was initially ignorant of Picasso’s identity and celebrity, but soon fell under his spell, embarking on a years-long affair with the artist. This would inspire what John Richardson has described as Picasso’s 'most innovative period since Cubism.'

During the first few months of 1932 Picasso painted a string of masterpieces depicting Marie-Thérèse, including Sleeping Nude. One of Picasso’s most recognised works from January that year, painted only weeks before Sleeping Nude, is Le Rêve, formerly owned by Steve Wynn and now in the collection of Steve Cohen. Other iconic works from this same period include Le miroir, Femme nue, feuilles et buste, which is now on long-term loan to Tate Modern, London, and Jeune fille devant un miroir, painted the day after Sleeping Nude and now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Looking at this array of works, all created within a matter of weeks, it is not surprising to find that 1932 is described as Picasso’s Annus Mirabilis.

Sleeping Nude is all the more distinguished because of its fusion of painting and drawing. The stained-glass-like lines that featured in many of Picasso’s paintings from the time are here shown against a backdrop filled with charcoal pentimenti. They add an almost Cubist dimension to Sleeping Nude, showing Marie-Thérèse from a number of angles. The present work is emblematic of the rare pictures that show Marie-Thérèse sleeping, a subject that introduces an incredible sense of intimacy. In Sleeping Nude, the viewer is invited into the very private world of love and desire the artist and his lover shared. The seminal works intimately depicting Marie-Thérèse which Picasso created in the early months of 1932, such as Sleeping Nude, appear to celebrate a release from the torment of carrying on an affair while still married to his ballerina wife, Olga Khokhlova.

It is a tribute to the importance of Sleeping Nude that it has featured in a large number of exhibitions and publications, and also that it remained in Picasso’s own collection until the end of his life. Discussing his inability to let go of some of his greatest works, Picasso once boasted, or perhaps confessed: 'I am the greatest collector of Picassos in the world.'

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 28 February 2018.

Monumental in scale, highly charged and painted in vivid colours, Le Matador is the culmination of a life-long obsession of Picasso’s that remained one of the most important themes throughout his career.

Pablo Picasso, Le Matador, oil on canvas, painted on 23 October 1970 (est. £14,000,000-18,000,000). Courtesy Sotheby’s.
The painting is a brilliant display of the virtuosity with which Picasso combined the complex elements that had shaped his life and art and stands as a defiant tribute to the heroic figure of the matador – embodying the artist’s own Andalusian machismo as the master of modern art takes centre-stage in the arena. Picasso had begun to feel that his time on this earth was running out, and so engaged in constant conversation with the great masters before him – Goya, Velasquez and Delacroix – following the traditions they had set in order to reinvent them and make a lasting mark. Appearing at auction for the first time, the work has been unveiled in Taipei and New York, before it is shown in the preview in London and offered in Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 28 February 2018.
Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said:

‘This powerful portrait exemplifies Picasso’s creative force in his final years and represents the culmination of a life-long obsession. Through the subject of the bullfight, Picasso explores the theme of life and death, creation and destruction, earth and sun, casting himself at the centre stage of the spectacle. We are thrilled to be presenting two prime examples of works by Picasso at his very best in one sale – Le Matador and Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) – both from key periods of the artist’s career.’ The bullfight became a symbol for the most public display of violence, bravery and ability and for Picasso its attraction certainly lay in its powerful contradictions: grace and brutality, entertainment and tragedy, and ultimately, life and death. This work is unique in conveying a human dimension that is lacking in many of the earlier depictions, with the matador’s stylised face and large, wide open eyes revealing a vulnerability and sense of mortality that reflect the artist’s own concerns.

Unlike his other depictions of the matador from this period where the figure is depicted against a plain, monochrome background, this painting uniquely combines the image of the matador resplendent in an elaborate costume with that of the arena. The lower half of the background represents the sand of the bullfighting ring, with hundreds of spectators in the upper half.

The experience of being taken to the bullring by his father at the age of eight had a strong impression on Picasso, and his first painting, Le petit picador jaune, was of a matador on a horse in the arena observed by the spectators behind him. It is all the more fitting that at the end of his life, he returned to the celebrated imagery of the bullfights that he had grown up watching. Despite leaving Spain to live in Paris in his youth, Picasso retained a sense of Spanish identity, and the matador was the character that allowed him to draw attention to his heritage. During the last years of the nineteenth century Picasso stayed in Madrid, where he copied the old masters at the Prado, and was no doubt influenced by Goya’s bullfighting scenes. Picasso’s personal memories became intertwined with his artistic heritage, and in this final series of matador portraits the ghost of Goya is strongly present.

Le Matador was included in the exhibition of Picasso’s last great works, organised by Jacqueline at the Palais des Papes in Avignon shortly after the artist’s death in 1973 – presenting the closing period of his oeuvre on the historical walls of one of the most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe.

A Pablo Picasso painting depicting his muse Marie-Therese Walter with future lover Dora Maar emerging from the shadows behind is expected to fetch an eye-watering sum at a London sale next week.

The 1937 "Femme au Beret et a la Robe Quadrillee (Marie-Therese Walter)" is expected to reach $50 million (40 million euros) at a sale of Impressionist, Surrealist and Modern Art at prestigious London auction house Sotheby's on Wednesday.

It comes from a key era in Picasso's career, 1937, when he makes the great painting 'Guernica'," he added, referring to the masterpiece which portrayed the horrors of the Nazi bombardment of a Basque city during the Spanish civil war.

The painting also has a strong autobiographical appeal. The main subject of the piece, Marie-Therese Walter, was the Spanish painter's long time lover and muse. But the looming figure of Dora Maar, whom he met in 1936, emerges in the shadows behind Marie-Therese.

Christie’s’ Art of the Surreal 27 February 2018

Pablo Picasso. Figure, 1930

Pablo Picasso , Figure , oil and charcoal on panel, 1930, estimate: £3,000,000 - 5,000,000 

 Picasso’s Figure of 1930, not seen at auction for half a century, is a powerfully architectural composition relating to 

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MOMA’s Baigneuse of the same year, which clearly shows Picasso’s influence on later artists such as Henry Moore and Francis Bacon.

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art 14 May 2018

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Pablo Picasso, Le Repos, oil on canvas, 1932
Photo: © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Courtesy of Sotheby’s
The centerpiece of the Sotheby’s May 14 Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York  will be Le Repos.

 Pablo Picasso’s “Femme au Béret et à la Robe Quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter)” from 1937 was the prize piece in the Sotheby’s sale. 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Sotheby's
Like Femme au Béret, this stunning masterwork from 1932—estimated to sell from $25–35 million—is a portrait of the Spaniard’s muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Picasso’s so-called “golden muse,” and according to Sotheby’s Simon Shaw, “arguably the love of his life.”

Christie’s Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art May 15

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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), L'Atelier, painted in Cannes, 24 October 1955. Oil on canvas, 74¾ x 31⅜ in (189.8 x 79.7 cm). Estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000.

 Pablo Picasso’s L’Atelier, dated 28 October 1955, brims with sundry accoutrements of the artist’s profession.
This choc-a-bloc studio inventory is the fourth and most elaborate of the eleven Atelier canvases that Picasso painted between 23 and 31 October 1955:
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The occasion of the October Atelier series coincided with Picasso’s 74th birthday—25 October—the first that he celebrated in “La Californie,” having purchased the villa in the spring of that year. “He quickly responded to the stimulus of the place in a series of what he called paysages d’intérieur: interior landscapes,” Marie-Laure Bernadac explained. “For Picasso, his studio is a self-portrait in itself.” Moreover, The Atelier series is a sequel to the fifteen canvases of Les femmes d’Algers completed in February 1955, a second eulogy Picasso devoted to his rival, friend and sole acknowledged peer—Henri Matisse—who died in November 1954. Estimate: $6-9 million.

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The painted ceramic Tête de femme, 1953 (Musée Picasso, Paris) represents the classic studio encounter between artist and model. 

Christie’sImpressionist and Modern Art  May 15, 2018

This spring, Christie’s will offer


Pablo Picasso’s Le Marin, 28 October 1943 (estimate upon request), in the May 15 Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art. Executed at the height of Occupation, Le Marin, widely recognized as Picasso himself, clad in his iconic striped fisherman’s jersey, offers one of the most profound and revealing views into the artist’s wartime psyche.
Adrien Meyer, Co-Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s New York, remarked: “From the depth and power of expression to his striped Breton shirt, Le Marin is an extraordinarily vivid portrait of the artist. We are delighted to debut this remarkable image in Hong Kong, which is such an integral region to the burgeoning market for the artist. Painted at Picasso and western civilization’s lowest ebb in World War II, Le Marin is art history and 20th-century history writ large. That Le Marin once hung in the legendary collection of Victor and Sally Ganz, makes this picture all the more exceptional.”
Le Marin last appeared at auction in 1997, as part of the legendary sale of the Collection of Victor and Sally Ganz. Over their lifetime together, Victor and Sally Ganz assembled what is still one of the most celebrated collections of the 20th Century. “All in all, he was the best collector we had…” remarked Leo Castelli, “For anyone who wants to know this period, they must look at Victor and apply his lessons.” Of all the artists that they collected, the Ganzes were most committed to Picasso, acquiring his works exclusively over two decades, including
 Pablo Picasso, Les Femme d'Algers (Version “O", 1955. COURTESY CHRISTIE'S

Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 'O’), which became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction when it realized $179.4 million at Christie’s New York in May 2015. Les Femmes d'Alger (Version ‘O’) continues to hold the world record for Picasso and is the second-highest result for any work at auction.
Prominently hung in their Manhattan living room, Le Marin was purchased by Victor Ganz for $11,000 in 1952 from the publisher Harry Abrams. It was Picasso’s only male image in the Ganz Collection.
According to his own testimony, 
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Picasso’s earlier 1938 portrait of Maya in a sailor suit (gifted after the artist’s death to the Museum of Modern Art, New York) is also a self-portrait. This painting, like the present picture, was originally titled Le Marin. Jerome Seckler, who interviewed Picasso, recounted their discussion of that portrait:
I described my interpretation of his painting, Le Marin, which I had seen at the Liberation Salon. I said I thought it to be a self-portrait... He listened intently and finally said, “Yes, it’s me, but I did not mean it to have any political significance at all.”
I asked why he painted himself as a sailor. “Because,” he answered, “I always wear a sailor shirt. See?” He opened up his shirt and pulled his underwear—it was white with blue stripes!  

Created only weeks after the most dangerous crisis Picasso faced in World War II, Le Marin reflects the artist’s emotional and psychological distress. In 1944 Picasso said, “I have no doubt that the war is in the paintings I have done.” Perhaps no painting which he made during the Occupation more directly conveys this feeling than Le Marin.
At the outbreak of the war Picasso elected to stay in France, despite offers to move to Mexico and the United States, expressing at the time that “Most certainly, it is not a time for a creative man to fail, to shrink or to stop working”.
Although Picasso was a Spanish citizen, the decision to stay in France required a great deal of courage. As the painter of Guernica, he was an internationally recognized anti-fascist. In a speech, Hitler had denounced him by name. German agents regularly visited his studio in search of incriminating evidence, during which they insulted him and destroyed his paintings.
  It was previously thought that these threats never rose above the level of harassment. However, a letter found in the Archive Picasso, dated September 16, 1943 – just five weeks before he painted Le Marin – demonstrated that the Nazis planned to deport Picasso to a concentration camp.
Picasso was saved only by the intervention of friends, Dubois and Cocteau, and especially by Arno Breker, Hitler’s favorite sculptor, who spoke to Hitler on the artist’s behalf. Other people in Picasso’s circle were not so lucky. Max Jacob, who had been one of Picasso’s closest friends, was deported to a concentration camp in the spring of 1944 and died there. That August, the Allies would liberate Paris.
Estimated in the region of $70 million, this masterpiece of the Second World War is set to realize one of the five highest prices for the artist at auction.

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening  Sale in London on 19 June 2018. 

 Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil. Femme écrivant, signed Picasso (upper left), oil on canvas, 116.2 by 73.7cm., 45¾ by 29in. Painted in April 1932. Estimate upon request. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

 Painted during  Pablo  Picasso’s ‘year of wonders’, this monumental , yet  remarkably tender and intimate , painting o f Marie -Thérèse absorbed in the act of writing evoke s  a private moment from the artist’s clandestine relationship with his  most beloved muse. Awake  or asleep, writing or reading, Marie -Thérèse appears in manifold guises  throughout Picasso’s  oeuvre . In this painting , Picasso focu ses on her innocence and youthfulness, depicting her  serenely penning her thoughts. 

Appearing at auction for the first time in over two decades ,  Buste  de femme de profil. Femme écrivant will highlight