Picasso's masterpiece depicting his ‘golden muse’ could sell for over $120 million at auction
A Picasso masterpiece is expected to fetch more than $120 million when it goes up for auction this auction.
A Picasso masterpiece entitled “Femme a` la montre” is expected to fetch more than $120 million when it goes up for auction this auction. The 1932 oil painting, measuring 51 1/4* 38 inches depicts Picasso's “golden muse” Marie-Therese Walter, who is featured in many of his famous portraits.
“Picasso’s ‘Femme à la Montre’ is a masterpiece by every measure. Painted in 1932—Picasso’s ‘annus mirabilis’—it is full of joyful, passionate abandon yet at the same time it is utterly considered and resolved. Its bold primary colors sing from the five-foot-tall-canvas,” said Julian Dawes, Sotheby's head of Impressionist & Modern Art for the Americas in a statement.
The painting will be the main at the two-day event at Sotheby's in New York in November when the collection of the late Emily Fisher Landau goes on sale. It is part of Emily's collection of 120 paintings. She was a world-famous contemporary art collector who died earlier this year at the age of 102.
The collection also has works by Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Georgia O'Keeffe, and is expected to sell or more than $400 million.
The portrait is from one of the most prominent times of the artist's career and was the subject of an entire exhibition organised by Musee Picasso in Paris and London's Tate Modern in 2018.
The story behind the painting
Picasso first met Marie in the year 1927 in Paris when she was just 17 years old and the painter was still married to his first wife Olga Khokhlova, a Russian-Ukrainian ballet dancer.
Marie went on to become the inspiration for the artist's most sought-after creations.
As time went on, Picasso was more and more infatuated with his muse, so much so it ended his marriage. While Picasso died in 1973, Marie died in 1977.
According to Sotheby’s, “the sense of release from keeping secrets about his affair seem to have spilled out onto this extraordinary canvas, in which he gives full painterly rein to new-found freedoms, drenching the painting in strong primary colors and beautiful forms, while at the same time paying careful attention to every small detail, creating a composition that is both intensely complex and deeply harmonious.”
Other works of Picasso inspired by Maire
Picasso's most curious painting of Walter, in which she appears as a tentacled sea monster was sold last year for $67.5% million at Sotheby's.
His other 1932 works namely, “Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse),” sold for $103.41 million in 2021, and “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” sold for $106.5 million in 2010.