Picasso work sets world record, sells for record $106.5 mn
A 1932 Pablo Picasso oil painting of his blond mistress Marie-Therese Walter has fetched a world record price of $106.5 million at a Christie's sale in New York.
The identity of the telephone bidder was immediately known.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, signed and dated 'Picasso XXXII' was from a property from the collection of Sidney F Brody. It had a pre-sale estimate of $70-90 million.
The previous world record was Alberto Giacometti's sculpture Walking Man I, which fetched $104.3 million at Sotheby's on February 3.
Picasso's work Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice) had sold for $104.2 million at Sotheby's in 2004.
On Tuesday night that saw the new record for the most expensive artwork sold at an auction, the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale achieved a total of $335,548,000.
"This was a stellar night for Christie's and for the art market. The sale was led by exceptional prices for works by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Henri Matisse from the Brody Collection, one of the greatest private collections to come to market," said Marc Porter, chairman of Christie's Americas.
"In addition, we witnessed great depth of bidding and strong results for important works from other American and European collections, including additional paintings by Picasso and works by Giacometti and Pierre-Auguste Renoir," Porter said.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is a sensuous and stunning masterpiece from Picasso's celebrated 1932 series of paintings depicting his muse.
Referred to as the "lost" 1932 Picasso because it had never before been published in colour, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was acquired by the Brodys in 1950 for $17,000 from art dealer Paul Rosenberg, the auction house said.
At the auction, eight bidders competed for the Brody Picasso, as Christie's lead auctioneer and honorary chairman Christopher Burge started the bidding at the $58 million mark.
Burge took bids from within the saleroom and on the phone before the competition settled down to two bidders at the $88 million mark and a one-on-one battle ensued.
Nine minutes after the bidding opened, the final bid was hammered down and a new world record for the most expensive artwork at auction was sealed at $106,482,500.