Picasso at Auction II

Also see Picasso at Auction

Christie’s is pleased has announced Pablo Picasso’s Buste d’homme dans un cadre from the Estate of Sir Sean Connery, as a leading highlight of the 20th and 21st Century Art Evening Sale to take place on 26 May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (estimate on request; in the region of HK$150 million/ US$19 million). Offered fresh to the market and extraordinary among Picasso’s late works for its orderly composition, graceful, decisive lines, and intensity of expression, this seminal canvas is one of the finest and most striking of the artist’s paintings from the last decade of his life.

Buste d’homme dans un cadre is an epic representation of Picasso’s iconic musketeer motif: the pan-European, 17th Century swashbuckling archetype of masculinity, deriving its inspiration from celebrated golden age master painters such as Rembrandt and Velázquez, and literary giants Shakespeare and Dumas. In this painting, the sitter bears the gaze of Picasso’s own intense black eyes, sporting a goatee worthy of the Cardinal Richelieu, a literary nemesis in Dumas’ famed novel The Three Musketeers which Picasso re-read in 1966, sparking his inspiration for the series. In Picasso’s version of Cardinal Richelieu in the present work, the subject displays an affable flair, through an intensely colourful palette depicting his distinctive hair and facial features; the strong gaze and wide collar of his costume recall the directness and intensity of Rembrandt’s self-portraits.

In this work, the style of paint application is indebted much more to Vincent van Gogh: dense swirling strokes of paint emanate throughout, curling within his ruff, around his head and even up over the top of the painted frame—whereupon Picasso modernises the clever trompe l’oeil compositional device—referencing the ornate gilt of Baroque ornamentation in a playful bright yellow, energetically articulated with rapid, gestural strokes and scrawls of black, white, and sable, reminiscent of Van Gogh’s unruly sunflowers and strong winds on wheat field

Picasso’s Rapturous 1932 Homage to Marie-Thérèse Walter

Painted in April 1932, 90 years ago to the month, Femme nue couchée is one of Pablo Picasso’s most monumental and uninhibitedly sensual portrayals of Marie-Thérèse Walter. Appearing at auction for the first time, the large-scale painting is poised to achieve in excess of $60 million at Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction on 17 May, making it one of the most valuable portraits of Marie-Thérèse Walter ever offered at auction.

Marie-Thérèse was the inspiration for many of Picasso’s greatest works, with 1932 - the year in which he was finally able to give full painterly voice to his passion - widely regarded as his ‘annus mirabilis’. So extraordinarily was Picasso’s output that year, an entire museum exhibition has been dedicated to it (“Paris 1932”, at Tate Modern in 2018). And while the works from this moment stand out for their creativity and their joyous mood, what perhaps marks them out most of all is the intensity of desire that underpins them. (In fact, the French leg of exhibition at the Musee Picasso was called “Paris 1932: année erotique”.)

Femme nue couchée a Monumental Achievement in Picasso’s Oeuvre and the History of Portraiture, Is Poised to Achieve in Excess of $60 Million


But of the many portraits Picasso painted of Marie-Therese in that year, this particular image stands out: it is a uniquely compelling composition that is radically different, both from anything else in his oeuvre, and from the broader art historical tradition of the female reclining nude. In this work, Picasso evokes Marie-Therese with the strong and sensuous fin-like limbs of a sea-creature. Though he would go on to render subsequent lovers in animalistic form, the allusion to the sea here is significant: Marie-Thérèse was also an avid and accomplished swimmer whose powerful, athletic grace in the water was a source of constant fascination for Picasso (something that was perhaps all the more beguiling for him, given that – for all the time he spent on the beach as a child and subsequently – he in fact he never learned to swim). In addition to which, the headiest days of their blossoming relationship were spent by the sea: in the summer of 1928, Picasso took his then-wife Olga and son Paulo to the seaside at Dinard. Unbeknown to them, he also installed his then-still-secret-lover Marie-Thérèse in a holiday camp nearby, ‘eloping’, whenever possible for secret romantic encounters by the sea.

“Picasso’s portraits of his golden muse Marie-Thérèse are undeniable hallmarks of 20th century art. When unveiled at his career retrospective in 1932, this cycle of monumental works scintillated with their rapturously romantic and sensuous depiction of Picasso’s heretofore sequestered mistress. A radical departure from tradition, this striking painting is at the same time a deeply lyrical ode to the artist’s unbound desire for Marie-Thérèse; with her fin-like, endlessly pliable limbs, the portrait continues to enchant as it perfectly captures Picasso’s muse as the ultimate expression of his genius.”


Furthermore, a lover of the sea (‘I am a child of the sea; I long to bathe in it, to gulp down the salty water’) and an avid film goer, Picasso may well have been influenced in this composition by Jean Painlevé’s 1928 surrealist masterpiece, La Pieuvre, “a captivating love letter to one of nature's most intelligent and enigmatic creations.

Building on the lineage of the reclining nude in art history, Picasso’s Femme nue couchée offers a daring new take on the tradition, upending naturalism for the biomorphic forms of Surrealism and a curvilinear approach derived from his simultaneous sculptural practice, which would prove highly influential to generations of artists to come.

In early 1932 Picasso was planning a major retrospective scheduled for June, and in preparation for the exhibition began his first dedicated series of paintings depicting his muse and mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter in the seclusion of his new country home of Boisgeloup. In Femme nue couchée, which was completed during this period, Picasso charted new territory with his portrait of Marie-Thérèse, not only in his own body of work, but in the history of the nude figure with his depiction of her reclining in a highly abstracted space, highlighting her biomorphic figure with touches of fertility, sexuality, and grace. As a landmark work within Picasso’s oeuvre and his famed series completed in 1932, as well as a pivotal exampale in the history of portraiture, Femme nue couchée’s arrival at auction for the first time this Spring marks a significant moment in Picasso’s unrivaled legacy in the art market.

“As one of the star highlights of Tate Modern’s world-class exhibition devoted to 1932 as a pivotal year for Picasso, Femme nue couchée is a ground-breaking, extraordinarily sensual work that remained within the artist’s estate for decades before its acquisition directly from the family of the artist . Marking the first time this painting will appear at auction, our Modern Evening Sale will be a defining moment in solidifying 1932 as one of Picasso’s most critically important and sought-after periods.”


The story of Picasso’s first encounter with Marie-Thérèse, and their subsequent love affair, is among the most compelling in 20th century art history. Picasso first met Marie-Thérèse in Paris in 1927 when she was seventeen years old. The couple’s relationship was kept a well-guarded secret for many years, both on account of the fact that Picasso was then still married to Olga Khokhlova, a Russian-Ukrainian dancer he had met on tour with Diaghilev, and because of Marie-Thérèse’s age. It was during these preceding months that he first cast his artistic spotlight on the voluptuous blonde. Until then, Picasso had only referenced his extramarital affair with Marie-Thérèse in code, sometimes embedding her symbolically in a composition or rendering her unmistakable profile as a feature of the background. But by the end of 1931, Picasso could no longer repress the creative impulse that his lover inspired, and over Christmas 1931 and into early 1932, Marie- Thérèse emerged, for the first time, in fully recognizable, languorous, form in his work.

For Picasso, Marie-Thérèse offered a sensual amalgam of the lover, the model, and the goddess, and would be cast in many roles throughout his body of work. In Boisgeloup, Picasso increasingly devoted his time and creative energy to sculpture, including a number of plaster busts and reclining nude portraits of Marie-Thérèse. The influence of this medium is visible in Femme nue couchée in the monumental sculptural force with which Picasso portrays the female body. At the same time, the psychological state of the sleeping woman resonates in the soft modelling of the figure, creating an atmosphere of reverie and carefree abandon. Seeking to convey his erotic desire, Picasso generates morphological permutations and distortions of the female anatomy. Abandoning any attempt at naturalism, he creates a figure composed of biomorphic forms, a technique that developed from his earlier, Surrealist works.

Picasso’s treatment of the female figure is undoubtedly rooted in the great tradition of the reclining nude in art history, following his predecessors Goya, Ingres, and Manet, among others. Yet, the artist’s shocking new take on the nude and frank sexuality would provide an influence to some of the greatest artists in the generations to follow.

“There were many notable years in the long, dramatic career of Pablo Picasso, but 1932 stands out as particularly momentous. In this ‘year of wonders,’ Picasso produced the most sensuous depictions of his great muse and lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, who would inspire some of the artist’s most iconic images. In Femme nue couchée, she is presented with a potent mix of sensuality and youthful naivety, and heralds a major creative turning point for Picasso as he was no longer willing to hide his passion and affair.”

Dora Maar was a commanding presence and this portrait by Picasso conveys her beauty and intellect to powerful effect. Painted in the French tricolor of red, white and blue – and prominently signed and dated – it captures a real sense of Maar’s personality and speaks eloquently of Picasso’s feelings. Interest in Picasso has been surging among Asian collectors, as we witnessed last year with two consecutive auction records for the artist in Asia, most notably for a portrait of Picasso’s second wife Jacqueline Roque. This season we are thrilled to present a museum-quality work that ranks among the best examples by the artist to come to auction in the region.

This April in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s will offer a compelling portrait by Pablo Picasso of his lover, Dora Maar, from a hugely important period in the artist’s life. The appearance of the work not only marks the first time a Dora Maar portrait by the artist has come to auction in Asia, it also comes at a moment when demand for Picasso in the region is at an all-time high – hot on the heels of two consecutive auction records achieved for the artist in Asia by Sotheby’s last year across the spring and autumn sales seasons. Painted in 1939, when the European continent was on the brink of war, the portrait is particularly alluring, and unusual in its calm elegance, given that many of Picasso’s portraits of Dora Maar show her face in anguish and fractured into a cubist treatment of her features.

Estimated in excess of HK$138 million / $17.6 million, Dora Maar will be offered as part of Sotheby’s spring sales series in Hong Kong, alongside a strong selection of works from the modern period – by artists such as Chen Yifei, Wu Guanzhong, Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki – in the Modern Evening Auction on 27 April. The sale will be complemented by a similarly broad and strong offering of Contemporary Art in an evening auction on the same day, led by Louise Bourgeois’ (almost) seven-foot Spider IV – the first Spider by the artist to be presented at auction in Asia.

Picasso and Dora Maar

The love story between Dora Maar and Picasso is arguably one of the most turbulent in 20th-century art history. Their affair was a partnership of intellectual exchange as well as of intense passion, and her influence on the artist resulted in some of the most daring and most renowned portraits of his career.

Picasso met Maar, the Surrealist photographer, in early 1936, and was immediately enchanted by her intellect and beauty, and by her commanding presence. Although still romantically involved with Marie-Thérèse Walter and married to Olga Khokhlova at the time, Picasso became intimately involved with Maar. Unlike the more docile and domestic Marie-Thérèse, Maar was an artist, spoke Picasso’s native Spanish, and shared his intellectual and political concerns.

During this period of drama in his personal life, Picasso balanced Maar and Walter in an increasingly complex and acrimonious domestic environment. At the same time, world events were also coming to a climax and making themselves felt in Picasso’s work. When Picasso embarked on the great masterpiece Guernica – in response to the bombing of the Spanish town of Guernica in April 1937 – Maar assisted as well as producing a photo-documentary of the work in progress. They would remain together until 1943.

Maar’s arrival marked an important stylistic change for Picasso that very quickly made itself felt in his art, with a distinct shift from the sweeping curvilinear forms of Marie-Thérèse Walter towards more sharply delineated forms that captured the essence of the multiple and often conflicting facets of Maar’s personality. With her head resting on her hand, in Dora Maar she looks pensively toward the viewer, conveying a sense of characteristic intensity and gravity. This is only further contrasted by the fiery red background, a symbolic reference to Maar’s equally passionate and spirited character. The portrait shows Maar in a self-possessed and proud pose, her captivating face both contemplative and inscrutable. Her most striking features, powerfully rendered here, were her thick mantle of rich black hair – which she kept long at Picasso’s request – and her dazzling soulful eyes.

Picasso’s choice of a panel for Dora Maar was of artistic significance. Throughout his career, Picasso often selected different media to allow full reign for his creative freedom, switching effortlessly between canvas, panel, paper, or whichever other medium he felt compelled to use. He began painting on panel during his Blue Period and his Surrealist period, and continued to do so through the 1950s.

Dora Maar belongs to a small group of oils on panel painted between 27th and 29th March 1939, including examples held in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. 

 Christie’s has announced 

Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme (Fernande), the first major sculpture of the artist’s career as a leading highlight of the 20th Century Art Evening Sale taking place this May at Rockefeller Center in New York City (estimate on request; in the region of $30,000,000). One of two casts of the work owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tête de femme (Fernande) has been deaccessioned by the Museum; proceeds from the sale will be solely dedicated to future acquisitions for the Museum’s collection.

Marc Porter, Chairman, Christie’s Americas, remarks: “It is a true privilege for us to partner with The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the sale of Picasso’s seminal sculpture Tête de femme(Fernande) to benefit future acquisitions for the Museum’s collection. Created in 1909, this three-dimensional bronze bust, inspired by the artist’s first muse Fernande Olivier, is a rare example, representing an absolutely crucial moment in the development of Picasso’s artistic practice, Cubism, and the art historical canon at large. We are honored to offer this work in our 20th Century Evening Sale this spring.” 

Max Carter, Head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department, remarks: Tête de femme (Fernande) is Cubism’s definitive early sculpture. Its revolutionary architectural faceting, which Picasso sliced and sharpened after modeling in clay, suggests Vesalius as much as it does Frank Gehry. To offer this extraordinarily rich, beautiful cast on behalf of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the ultimate honor.”

Tête de femme (Fernande) stands as an icon of twentieth-century art. Executed in clay in 1909, the sculpture marks the culmination of an important series of painted studies of Fernande Olivier, the artist’s first great love. The work represents a pivotal moment in the development of Cubism, the radical movement that overturned centuries-old traditions of artmaking, entirely reshaping the development of modern art. With Tête de femme (Fernande), Picasso’s intense explorations into the nature of pictorial representation were synthesized into three-dimensional form. This concept opened the door to a host of new possibilities not just in the medium of sculpture, but of art itself, paving the way for many of the developments that would follow throughout the twentieth century.

Taking the distinctive features of his muse, in Tête de femme (Fernande) Picasso reimagined her head and face with a new language of faceted forms. Constructed with a combination of fragmented geometric and organically-shaped planes, the work is filled with a sense of rhythmic dynamism. Harnessing immaterial concepts of light and space, Picasso created a work that is both a figurative portrayal of a woman’s head, while at the same time, an almost abstract configuration of forms that reflect the light with a constant evanescence.

Tête de femme (Fernande) was born from an intense period of creative production that Picasso enjoyed over the summer of 1909. Together with Fernande, the artist traveled to the rural Catalonian village Horta de Ebro (now known as Horta de Sant Joan) in June, embarking on a period now recognized to be critical in the evolution of his art and Cubism as a whole. Worlds apart from Paris, Horta and its topography played a role in inspiring and informing the development of a new revolutionary formal language.

There are around 20 known casts of Picasso’s Tête de femme (Fernande), the majority of which are in public institutions including the Musée National Picasso, Paris; National Gallery, Prague; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York and Portland Art Museum, Oregon. Five of the nine casts from the later edition are also located in public institutions, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles Museum of Art; Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena; Stiftung Kulturbesitz, Berlin and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. The plasters are at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas and on long-term loan at the Tate, London.

Tête de femme (Fernande) will be on view along with selected highlights from the 20th Century / 21st Century Evening Sales in Hong Kong and London before returning to New York, where it will be on exhibition at Christie’s New York ahead of the sale in May.

  • T
    he Art of the Surreal Evening Sale

    Pablo Picasso’s La fenêtre ouverte will be offered at auction for the first time ever with a pre-sale estimate of £14,000,000-24,000,000

Pablo Picasso, La fenêtre ouverte (1929, estimate: £14,000,000-24,000,000)


  • Presented at auction for the first time, La fenêtre ouverte (1929, estimate: £14,000,000-24,000,000) is a seminal work from Pablo Picasso’s Surrealist period. The painting will highlight Christie’s 21st edition of The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale, a key element of the 20/21 Shanghai to London series of auctions, which will take place on 1 March 2022. Impressively scaled and rendered with a bold colour palette and direct handling, La fenêtre ouverte is a work of striking visual power. Painted on 22 November 1929, this complex and compelling studio scene is one of a series of Atelier works that Picasso had begun around 1926, richly symbolic and radically constructed paintings that reveal the multi-faceted interests of the artist at this time. Other works from this series are housed in museums including The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Musée National d’Art Moderne, Le Centre Pompidou, Paris. At once a still life, a veiled Atelier scene, and a Surrealist distortion of reality, La fenêtre ouverte is rich with personal and artistic symbolism.

    Towering in the foreground of this painting are two highly abstracted figures. On the right stands a plaster bust that appears to be a disguised image of the artist’s great lover and muse of this time, Marie-Thérèse Walter. The figurative object on the left, an amalgam of feet intersected with an arrow, is said to be an abstracted, symbolic representation of Picasso himself. Two spires of the church of Sainte-Clotilde are identifiable in the background. John Richardson has suggested that this work therefore depicts the secret Left Bank apartment that Picasso and Marie-Thérèse shared as a hideaway during their clandestine relationship.  In the foreground, a configuration of abstracted objects are depicted in an arrangement reminiscent of the artist’s earlier cubist still lifes.

    Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s: “Held in the same European collection for half a century, this powerful and explosively coloured painting from the highpoint of Picasso’s Surrealist period and two years into his clandestine love affair with Marie-Thérèse, represents a brilliant fusion of the different passions and inspirations that defined the artist’s life at the end of the 1920s. Relishing the secret nature of their romance, Picasso could not help but include his lover’s presence in the form of the plaster bust in this painting. Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life reinvigorated every area of his work, her statuesque form and radiant beauty, as well as her youthful, carefree sensibility inspiring the artist to create works that stand as the finest of his career. This metamorphosised, cryptically coded work stands as a fascinating self-portrait of Picasso and his golden haired muse, which we are thrilled to present to the market for the first time as a major highlight of the 21st edition of The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale.”

    Although Marie-Thérèse was yet to emerge in full form in the artist’s work –  this would not happen until he created the sentinel-like plaster busts in the spring of 1931 – her profile and sweep of hair are instantly identifiable in La fenêtre ouverte . Her presence in the artist’s life and art was at this point secret, however, the iconic visual idiom which Picasso developed in his portrayals of her, in profile, and with the luminous white visage, are already present.

    Picasso chose to include La fenêtre ouverte in his landmark 1932 retrospective, first held at the Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, from June to July, before moving to the Kunsthaus Zurich, in September to October. The painting was also included in The Museum of Modern Art, New York’s seminal survey exhibition, ‘Dada, Surrealism & Their Heritage’ in 1968. 

    Picasso’s La fenêtre ouverte will be on view in New York from 4 to 8 February 2022 and in Hong Kong from 15 to 17 February 2022 before being exhibited in London from 23 February to 1 March 2022.In the year that marks the centenary of the artist’s birth, Christie’s will offer Lucian Freud’s masterpiece of frank, tender observation, 

  • La fenêtre ouverteis a rare example from Picasso’s Surrealist period, which will highlight the 21st edition of The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale .

  • Held in the same European collection for half a century, this painting is a surreal depiction of Picasso and his great muse Marie-Thérèse Walter

  • Christie’s continues to establish cultural dialogues between major international art hubs, launching the key 20/21 Marquee Weeks with 20/21 Shanghai to London sale series

  • The sale series will incorporate 20th / 21st Century: Shanghai Evening Sale, 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale and The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale

Property of a Distinguished American Collector
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
Mousquetaire à la pipe II 
signed 'Picasso' (upper right); dated and numbered '5.11.68. II' (on the reverse)
oil and Ripolin on canvas
57 1/2 x 38 in. (146 x 96.5 cm.) Painted on 5 November 1968
Estimate on Request

Christie’s 20th Century Art Evening Sale in New York will be highlighted by Pablo Picasso’sMousquetaire à la pipe, 5 November 1968 (Estimate on request; in the region of $30,000,000).  A leading example of the musketeer series that came to be highly definitive of the artist’s late career, this work is remarkable for its inventiveness and variety, its vibrant palette and rich brushwork, dynamism, and overwhelming joie de vivre.

Max Carter, International Director and Head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department, remarked: “In 1968, while much of the world looked anxiously at the future, Picasso, then in his 88th year, harnessed the glories of the past to create his grand, culminant series of musketeers. This November we are honored to offer Mousquetaire á la pipe II, one of its outstanding examples, never before seen at auction, leading an array of works across the master’s career.”

Painted on 5 November 1968, Mousquetaire à la pipe is among the most impressive of the great Musketeer series. During a period of convalescence in late 1965, Picasso began to re-read a number of literary classics—including Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. By spring of 1966, the tale had taken up residence in the artist’s psyche, and as the following year began, the figure of the musketeer had effectively entered Picasso’s repertoire. Part historical and part fantastical, the musketeer figures were vessels through which the artist portrayed himself. They also speak to the close dialogue that Picasso had entered into with Rembrandt; throughout the 1960s he came to increasingly identified with the Dutch artist, who was also fond of inserting himself in various guises into his paintings. Picasso’s 1968 group of musketeer paintings marks the peak of Picasso’s interest in this subject, and during the fall of this year he produced the finest examples of the genre.

This is one of two musketeer paintings that Picasso painted on 5 November 1968; the other example is in the collection of the Museum Sammlung Rosengart, Luzern. A striking duo, both feature figures with tight curls, beards, and pictured with a pipe. The example on offer portrays a musketeer with a notably grandiose presence, more than filling the near five-foot canvas to tower above the viewer. Just as he had done throughout his career with the figure of the harlequin and the minotaur, Picasso used the musketeer figure as a way of visualizing a heroic stance in life, to affirm his ability—through wit, skill, and creativity—to remain master of his fate during this final stage of his life.

Property from The Stella Collection

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Femme accroupie en costume turc (Jacqueline)

oil on canvas

36 ¼ x 28 ¾ in. (92 x 73 cm.)

Painted in 1955

Estimate: $20 million – $30 million

Pablo Picasso’s Femme accroupie en costume turc (Jacqueline), 1955 (estimate: $20 million - $30 million), is a masterpiece that has remained in a private and important collection of a single family for three generations, since 1957 – just two years after its creation. The work was originally purchased by a collector who developed personal relationships with leading contemporary artists starting in the 1950s. The collection includes works by Picasso, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Max Ernst, among others, which were acquired either directly from the artists or through the preeminent gallerists of the time such as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Galerie Maeght, and subsequently kept in the same family for three generations.

Picasso’s powerful portrait depicts Jacqueline Roque, the final great love and muse of the artist’s life. It is among the most radical depictions from an important series of eleven seated portraits of Jacqueline that developed out of Picasso’s landmark series, Les femmes d’Alger (based on the eponymous Delacroix masterpiece), considered his single greatest achievement after World War II. Here Picasso honed in on the frontal, seated figure that emerged in the culminating Femme d’Alger works. Clearly in awe of his striking new muse, he has transformed her into a majestically seated odalisque, rendered in an elaborate combination of lines, patterns, and jewel-like color. In a nod to his friend and rival Henri Matisse, who had passed away just one year prior in 1954, Picasso approaches the canvas with a distinctly Matissean style, employing costume and decoration as a way of evoking the seductive fantasy of Orientalism, and using pattern as a way to experiment with pictorial construction.

Vanessa Fusco, Senior Specialist and Co-Head of 20th Century Art Evening Sale comments, The Stella Collection was assembled by a passionate and knowledgeable collector, whose relationship with the artists and their primary dealers of the time meant that he was able to acquire exceptional examples of their work. Leading the collection is Picasso’s Femme accroupie en costume turc (Jacqueline), a strikingly modern treatment of the seated figure developed out of the artist’s seminal series Les femmes d’Alger, in dialogue with Delacroix. The painting was lent by the family to the artist’s seminal 1957 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York on the occasion of Picasso’s 75th birthday, and it is an honor to bring it back to into the public realm so many decades later.

Femme accroupie en costume turc (Jacqueline) was painted in Picasso’s new home, the spacious nineteenth-century villa known as La Californie, which overlooked Cannes. At this time, Picasso’s fame was such that he had could not move through Paris without drawing crowds. Picasso first met Jacqueline in 1952. At the time, he was still living with Françoise Gilot; Jacqueline was working as a sales assistant at a ceramics studio at which he would frequently work. By 1954, Picasso’s relationship with Françoise had ended and the two were a couple. They would remain together until the artist’s death at age 91


LAS VEGAS and NEW YORK – August 11, 2021 – Coinciding with Pablo Picasso’s 140th birthday this October, MGM Resorts and Sotheby’s will present a special, first-of-its-kind marquee Evening Sale of masterworks by the iconic artist from the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection. The auction of works by Picasso, which will be conducted live from Bellagio on Saturday, October 23, marks the largest and most significant fine art auction to ever take place in Las Vegas, and comes as MGM Resorts, the world-renowned entertainment company, reshapes its public fine art portfolio, deepening its focus on diversity and inclusion.

The unique collaboration between Sotheby’s and MGM represents the first time Sotheby’s has hosted a marquee Evening Sale in North America outside its signature New York auction venue, and will feature a recreated version of the auction house’s storied saleroom in Las Vegas. As a Marquee Auction, Sotheby’s also will broadcast the sale around the world via a livestream viewable on Sothebys.com. Pre-sale exhibitions of the full selection of works to be offered at auction will take place at Sotheby’s New York galleries (September 7 - 13) and at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (October 21- 23) in Las Vegas, with traveling exhibitions of select highlights planned for Taipei (September 17 - 18) and Hong Kong (October 7 – 11). All exhibitions are complimentary and open to the public.

Accompanying the auction is a four-day exhibition of luxury property specially curated by Sotheby’s, which will be on view at MGM’s ARIA resort October 21-24. The exhibition will feature a selection of the world’s finest luxury objects, including automobiles, jewelry and watches, handbags, sneakers, and much more. Property from the exhibition will be sold at auction at Sotheby’s New York at the end of October, in addition to being available for bidding online at Sothebys.com and via the Sotheby’s app. Further details about the luxury showcase at ARIA and the auction at Sotheby’s will be released in the coming weeks.

“It’s an honor to collaborate with Sotheby’s to bring this first-of-its-kind art and entertainment experience to Las Vegas and embark on this momentous auction,” said Ari Kastrati, MGM Resorts’ Chief Hospitality Officer. “We welcome millions of visitors from around the world annually throughout our resorts, giving us a tremendous platform for showcasing diverse perspectives within the art community. While diversity has long been in MGM Resorts’ DNA, we are committed to creating an even more inclusive collection that maintains the breadth of our existing portfolio while giving a greater voice to artists from under-represented communities.”

Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s Chairman and Worldwide Head of Sales for Global Fine Art, commented: “It is a privilege to present this exemplary selection of works by Picasso from the MGM art collection in a special auction to support MGM Resorts in evolving their collection to represent a broader and more diverse group of artists. MGM Resorts is a world-class entertainment and hospitality brand known for bringing the finest experiences to their clientele, and we cannot wait to work together to bring the magic of a Sotheby’s Evening Sale to Las Vegas for the first time. As one of the most famous, beloved and accomplished artists of all time, we couldn’t imagine anyone better than Picasso to inaugurate this unique art and culture experience.”

Picasso: Masterworks from the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection

Featuring 11 works that showcase the range and breadth of Pablo Picasso’s celebrated career, the auction includes a highly curated selection of paintings, works on paper, and ceramics that span more than 50 years of artistic output from 1917 to 1969. The auction stars Femme au béret rouge-orange (estimate $20/30 million), one of Picasso’s defining portraits of Marie-Thérèse Walter, the artist’s famed muse and lover who inspired many of his most revered and iconic portraits of the 1930s. Executed in 1938, the present painting is one the artist’s final works capturing Marie-Thérèse, and marks a pivotal time after Picasso met the photographer Dora Maar, whose visage slowly began to eclipse that of Marie-Thérèse in his work. Picasso’s deeply autobiographical portraits from this period reveal characteristics of both women, and reinforce how exceedingly rare paintings of Marie-Thérèse are from this year. Adorned with her signature beret, Picasso's tender portrait uses a yellow and green palette to accentuate Marie-Thérèse’s rounded features, which are characteristic of Picasso’s portrayals of her, and further highlights how much the artist coveted this highly personal painting, which he kept in his private collection for decades.


The sale is further highlighted by two exquisite, large-scale portraits emblematic of the artist’s late period works: Homme et enfant (estimate $20/30 million) and Buste d’homme (estimate $10/15 million). Painted during one of the most inspired and productive periods of the artist’s life, from January 5, 1969 to February 2, 1970, both works were included in the monumental 1970 exhibition at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, arguably the most important exhibition of his late career. Each painting displays Picasso’s meditation on his artistic legacy, both from a personal and art historical perspective, and showcases the artist continuing to refine his mastery of portraiture in his final years of work.

Among the largest paintings ever executed by Picasso, Homme et enfant encapsulates the artist’s preoccupation with his life and legacy during this late period of his career. The two figures in the painting, a man and child, are symbols of Picasso’s artistic legacy as both a younger man and an artist working toward the end of his career, as well as his legacy as a father.

Related to his Mousquetaires series, Buste d’homme reflects on the artistic and thematic influence of Old Masters like Velazquez and Rembrandt, in which Picasso aligns himself with the monumental painters of history.



Also included in the October sale is Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs (estimate $10/15 million), an outstanding, museum-quality still life painted by Picasso during the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1942. While Picasso was barred from exhibiting his work during this time, until the historic 1944 Salon d’Automne, also known as the Salon de la Libération, he remained as prolific as ever. Without the opportunity to present his work publicly, Picasso’s experience during the occupation caused him to look inward and meditate on life and death during wartime, and his output showcased bold stylistic choices of muted tones and graphic Cubist-inspired lines that reflected his introspection. This period is considered one of the greatest and most focused of Picasso’s renowned still lifes, comparable only to his earlier Cubist period.


The sale is rounded out by several works on paper, including a portrait of the commedia dell’arte character Pierrot (estimate $2.5/3.5 million); an additional wartime still life, Nature morte aux fleurs et au compotier (estimate $6/8 million), painted in Paris in 1943; Aiguière – Visage (estimate $60/80,000), a ceramic pitcher; and much more. More details about the works being offered at auction will be released in the coming weeks.


Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)
 oil on canvas

57 ½ x 44 ⅞ in. (146 x 114 cm.)

Painted in Boisgeloup on 30 October 1932

NEW YORK – On 13 May, Christie’s newly introduced 20th Century Evening Sale in New York will be highlighted by Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse), 30 October 1932 (estimate in the region of $55 million). One of the extraordinary series of iconic portraits that Picasso painted of his golden-haired muse during this landmark year, this monumental work is among the most stately and impressive depictions of Marie-Thérèse that the artist painted.

Vanessa FuscoCo-Head of the 20th Century Evening Sale, remarked: “From the defining series that introduced Marie-Thérèse to the public eye, Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) was painted during a seminal year in which Picasso crafted a new pictorial language to depict his muse and lover. This striking, monumental portrait was last seen publicly in the superb exhibition devoted to the artist’s “year of wonders,” Picasso 1932, at the Musée Picasso, Paris and Tate Modern, London in 2017-2018. As one of the most ground-breaking and influential artists of the 20th Century, it is only fitting that this exceptional painting will lead the inaugural newly formatted 20th Century Art Evening Sale at Christie’s.

Painted in Boisgeloup on 30 October 1932, Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) crowns this great series of 1932 masterpieces. By this time, Marie-Thérèse had risen to ascendance in every area of her lover’s output. In the present work, she has claimed absolute command, an idolized muse now reigning deity-like over the artist and his creation.

Here, Picasso has presented Marie-Thérèse as a winged goddess, a modern-day Nike, her head lunar, luminous and sculptural as if carved from marble, and yet her body sensuous and soft, orbiting around her fiery red torso. No more the languorously reclining nude lost in a private reverie, in the present portrait she is clothed, alert and upright, her omniscient gaze demonstrating that she is in complete command of her subjects, the artist, her lover, clearly captive to her thrall.

The year 1932 witnessed the extraordinary outpouring of large-scale, color-filled, rhapsodic depictions of Marie-Thérèse. Having deified her statuesque forms and classical profile in the great series of plaster busts the year prior, Picasso allowed the influence of his young mistress and the bliss in which he found himself, fill his painting. Pictured both seated and reclining, this series saw Picasso perform artistic alchemy with these two revered motifs. With this great succession of paintings—which includes works such as Le RêveNude, Green Leaves, and BustLe Lecture (Musée Picasso, Paris), and Jeune fille devant le miroir (The Museum of Modern Art, New York) —Picasso reached the height of his artistic powers. “There is no doubt,” William Rubin declared, “that 1932 marks the peak of fever-pitch intensity and achievement, a year of rapturous masterpieces that reach a new and unfamiliar summit in both his painting and sculpture.

The first decades of the twentieth century would change the course of art history for ever. This treasure-trove from a private collection – little known and rarely seen – spans the remarkable period, telling its story through the leading protagonists, from Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti to Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger and Alexej von Jawlensky. Travelling across the continent, the works emphasise the crosscurrents and connections that united Europe, from France to Germany to Britain. Viewed together, dialogues emerge about the human form and experience, and the balance between figuration and abstraction.

Eighteen works will be offered in the cross-category Evening Sale on 28 July, in which exceptional examples of Old Masters – including one of the last self-portraits by Rembrandt in private hands – Impressionist and Modern art, Modern British and Contemporary art will be presented together for the first time.

A further twenty-four works from this collection will be offered in the Impressionist & Modern Art Online sale, open for bidding from 20 – 27 July. Prior to the sales, the works will go on public view in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries from 13 July.


Pablo Picasso, Femme endormie, 1931, charcoal on primed canvas (est. £6,000,000 – 9,000,000)

Unseen since 1986 ‘We joked and laughed together, so happy with our secret…You know what it’s like to be truly in love…Then, love is all you need’ – Marie-Thérèse Unseen since it was acquired by the owners in 1986 from Galerie Beyeler in Basel, and appearing at auction for the very first time, this tender, intimate portrait of Picasso’s golden muse – Marie-Thérèse Walter – was kept by the artist all his life, testament to its personal nature and the intimacy of the moment captured between them. Dating to February 1931, the work depicts a private moment at the very height of their love, when their allconsuming relationship was still a secret to society. The softness of the black charcoal lines accentuates Marie-Thérèse’s sensuality, with a gentleness that is rarely seen in Picasso’s other portraits.

This fully figurative style was used only occasionally by the artist, when depicting those most important to him. Here, with her features not abstracted, we see Marie-Thérèse absolutely as Picasso did, sitting by her side while she fell asleep. Beyond this, the rare use of charcoal on canvas as opposed to paper suggests that he wanted to immortalise her and the moment. It was just a year later that Picasso revealed Marie-Thérèse’s truly pervasive presence in his art, and this famed moment was recently celebrated in an acclaimed ‘1932’ exhibition that travelled from Musée Picasso in Paris to the Tate Modern in London. Across both sales, seven works by the artist span his career from 1905 to 1969, charting Picasso’s unending exploration of the human form as he constantly experimented with different media.

 Les femmes d’Alger 

Picasso’s series of 15 canvases based on Eugène Delacroix’s masterpiece Les femmes d’Alger  probably rank as his greatest achievement in the decades that followed the Second World War.
He created them in a burst of activity between December 1954 and February 1955, assigning each work an identifying letter, from ‘A’ to ‘O’. On 10 July, the sixth painting in the series — Version ‘F’ — will appear at auction for the first time, in a trailblazing Christie’s sale called ONE.
He painted it on 17 January 1955, aged 73. Delacroix’s Les femmes d’Alger  had fascinated him for decades. According to the memoirs of his ex-lover, Françoise Gilot, he would visit the Louvre every month just to stare at it. When she asked what he thought of Delacroix, ‘his eyes narrowed and he said: “That bastard, he’s really good.”’
It wasn’t until late in Picasso’s career that he set about his series of radical reworkings, though. It was prompted by two events in swift succession. One was the arrival in his life of the woman who replaced Gilot in his affections, Jacqueline Roque — who he thought looked uncannily like one of the three odalisques  in Delacroix’s harem scene.
The other — much sadder — event was the death of his dear friend and rival, Henri Matisse, in November 1954. The Frenchman had painted a host of stunning odalisque figures in the 1920s and 1930s, and Picasso now felt inspired to attempt his own. ‘Matisse left his odalisques to me as a legacy,’ he said
Each of Picasso’s 15 canvases is a marvel of invention. What makes Version ‘F’ stand out is the way it marks a bridge between the first phase of the series (of regular-sized canvases) and the second, final phase (featuring much larger works).
Version ‘F’ is the culminating picture of the first phase, both brilliantly coloured and spatially ingenious, a composition so fully resolved that Picasso now felt ready to tackle bigger canvases.
His palette is scorching, comprised principally of saturated red and gold tones. The airy white passages found in his previous versions of Les femmes d’Alger  are gone, replaced by a dense, expressive weave of Matissean pattern and colour. More than any other painting in the series, it conveys the hothouse atmosphere of a harem.

The scene is dominated by an odalisque sleeping. She manages both to stretch out across the bottom of the canvas — pushing up against a fellow odalisque, who’s smoking, on the left — and extend her legs vertically towards the top of the canvas on the right.
Where Version ‘F’ marked the end of the first phase of Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger  variations, Version ‘O’ marked the triumphant end of the second — and the series as a whole. In May 2015, the latter sold at Christie’s in New York for $179.4 million, then the world-record price for an artwork at auction.

Picasso is credited with transforming the still-life genre into an art form of endless symbolic, allegorical or stylistic possibility.

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La cafetière (1943, estimate; £1,000,000-1,500,000) is constructed with angular lines and saturated colour and was given as a gift from Picasso to his lover of the time Marie-Thérèse Walter.  

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Intérieur au pot de fleurs (1953, estimate: £7,000,000-10,000,000) is filled with the formal influence of his friend Henri Matisse, while this intriguing interior scene can also be seen to allude to the inner turmoil that characterised the artist's life at this time. Nature morte au chien (1962, estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000) is a large and playful still-life that not only offers a glimpse into the private world of Pablo Picasso and his idyllic final home, Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins, but encapsulates the abiding themes and stylistic qualities of the artist's work in what has become known as his late, great period.

Pablo Picasso, Femme assise dans un fauteuil, 1948. Estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.  

Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise dans un fauteuil, a portrait of Françoise Gilot, is among the most tense and explosive of his meditations on his partners. Painting many images of Gilot over their near decade-long relationship, Picasso’s depictions of her are special masterworks in their own right, uniquely infused with the passion and jealousy that fueled their relationship. This notion is encapsulated in the present work, with the portrait capturing the complexities Picasso faced as a man in his sixties living with a woman in her early twenties. Dated October 24, 1948, Femme assise dans un fauteuil was conceived during a particularly fractious time in Picasso and Gilot’s relationship; she was pregnant with their second child and Picasso had been away from their home in Vallauris for an extended period. In the work, Picasso revisits his earliest iconographic representations of Gilot but reinterprets them in a new light that perhaps betrays the difficulties in their relationship at that time. Gilot was all the more challenging a partner in her refusal to so readily fit his caricatured depictions of her as muse, lover, object—she was an artist in her own right and in her prime. Last shown publicly almost two decades ago, Femme assise dans un fauteuil has remained in the same family collection since circa 1972, one year prior to the artist’s death in 1973.

  Pablo Picasso, Homme à la pipe , 1968, oil on canvas (est. £5,500,000 - 7,500,000 / $7,012,500 - 9,562,500) 

Conceived on a grand scale and painted with seemingly limitless energy and invention in the autumn of 1968 , Homme à la pipe is a striking example of Picasso’s ultimate burst of creativity . The emphatic swirls of paint that fill the background contrast with the strong verticals of the pipe and chair, creating a powerful dynamic within the composition. Having been acquire d by the present owner in 1984, the monumental work has never previously been offered at auction. The musketeer was a key figure, signalling an allusion to the Old Masters, and through that, the artist’s desire to paint himself into the European artistic canon . In these final years, Picasso immersed himself in masterpieces by the likes of Velásquez , Rembrandt , El Greco and Goya – projecting slides b lown up to a gigantic scale onto his studio wall . He then incorporated the subjects and motifs of art historic tradition into works that are profoundly modern in their spirit and style. Demand for the artist’s late works is now particularly strong , with a new world record for a 1960s work achieved in May at Sotheby’s New York, when a portrait of his wife Jacqueline Roque and their beloved Afghan hound sold for $54.9 million.

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PABLO PICASSO, La Lampe, oil on canvas, Painted in Boisgeloup, 21 January-8 June 1931, $25,000,000-35,000,000.
Christie’s will offer Pablo Picasso’s La Lampe, 1931 ($25-35 million) as a central highlight of its Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on 11 November in New York. The golden light from the lamp’s scarlet flame bares a closely guarded secret, known in early 1931 to only a few of Pablo Picasso’s closest friends and his trusted chauffeur. Disenchanted with his wife Olga, indeed, having fallen far out of love from her and the haute bourgeois life-style that she relished, Picasso had been clandestinely seeing, for more than four and a half years, a lovely blonde mistress 28 years his junior. La Lampe shines on the image of Marie-Thérèse Walter, whom Picasso showcased here—in a large, elaborately orchestrated painting, as today one may instantly recognize her—for the first time.

Max Carter, Head of Department, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s New York, remarked: “During the early 1930s, Picasso’s towering achievements as both painter and sculptor arguably reached their greatest height and in La Lampe we have one of their most vital and outstanding expressions.”
Tan BoDirector, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s Beijing, continued: “With La Lampe touring to Hong Kong from October 22nd-25th, this masterpiece will once again be on view to the public in Asia after 37 years, where it has not been seen since its first appearance at the Picasso Intime exhibition in Hong Kong and Seibu in 1981.”

Picasso painted in La Lampe the pinnacle of Marie-Thérèse, transforming her sweet, compliant nature and striking physicality into the image of a goddess, his idolized muse, in the form of a head modeled in lily-white plaster, appropriately textured in thickly impastoed oil paint, with the lamp’s yellow light doubling as her distinctive blonde hair. This head and bust rest upon a cloth-covered wooden table, which mimics the appearance of a dark dress with a leaf-form collar showing a tasteful hint of décolletage. The artist depicted Marie-Thérèse’s profile, dominated by her Grecian nose, firmly contoured chin, and modish carré plongeant hair style, from a half-dozen such volumetric heads and reliefs, which he began modeling in the spring of 1931.

La Lampe was shown in Picasso’s celebrated retrospective at the Grande Salle of the Galeries Georges Petit, together with fourteen of the 1932 paintings that featured Marie-Thérèse, including  

 Pablo Picasso. Lying naked on a red cushion (Marie-Therese Walter), 1932

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Nude, Green Leaves and Bust 

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Le Rêve,

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and Jeune fille devant un miroir.

One may presume that by this time Olga was aware her husband had taken a lover; after viewing the 1932 show, she might more clearly but distressfully imagine the young Woman’s appearance, and even recognize her, if perchance they crossed paths.

With the addition of two hundred watercolors, drawings, and prints, the Galeries Georges Petit exhibition moved largely intact in September to the Kunsthaus Zürich, thus allowing this venue the honor of having mounted Picasso’s first museum retrospective. Wilhelm Hartmann, the Kunsthaus director, installed the works in a chronological presentation, making it a model for all future comprehensive Picasso shows. La Lampe and Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, together with other recent Marie-Thérèse paintings seen in Paris, also traveled to Zürich. The exhibition was a success, and had to be extended another two weeks to accommodate the record attendance.

Nearly fifty years later, La Lampe again featured as one of the highlights of Picasso’s landmark retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1980.

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Picasso’s inspiration in creating the pastel Femme accoudée, 1921 ($10-15 million) – pictured on  right – was twofold, as he pursued parallel interests in matters of subject and style. The sitter is the artist’s wife Olga, née Khokhlova, whom he met in 1917 while she was a leading dancer in Serge Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes. They married the following year, and soon after took an apartment on the rue la Boétie, the new epicenter of the Parisian art trade. Sales were making Picasso a wealthy man. On 4 February 1921, Olga presented her husband, with a son as his first-born, the sole male heir on his side of the Ruiz-Picasso family. The grateful artist celebrated the event in a series of maternity drawings and paintings, while also honoring Olga as a timeless model of graceful, fruitful femininity in figure paintings and portraits.

Picasso typically relished the idea of working against the grain of convention, and contravened “the call to order” in the aberrant facial and body proportions he chose to employ in his classical figures. In Femme accoudée, Picasso subjected Olga’s finely boned Slavic features to subtle rococo distortions, widening the space between her eyes while miniaturizing her lips. Present here, too, as a hallmark of Picasso’s classical manner, is the apparent enlargement of the sitter’s arms and hands. Such anti-naturalistic elasticity in plastic forms stems from precedents in Picasso’s earlier figurative styles, as well as his cubist practice, and would prevail throughout his subsequent oeuvre.

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Painted on 28 November 1924, Pablo Picasso’s Buste de femme au voile bleu ($8-12 million) –  is among the last of a series of elegant and hauntingly enigmatic neoclassical portraits that the artist painted during the early years of the decade. The sitter’s dark hair, pensive, melancholy gaze, and fine, flawlessly chiseled features immediately bespeak the presence and character of Olga Khokhlova. This painting showcases the culminating, subtle power of expression that Picasso could summon forth while working in the urbane and coolly sensual style of portraiture Olga had inspired in his work. Within months, the artist’s decade-long fascination with classicism would give way to an utterly transformative immersion in the convulsive intensity of the surrealist revolution.

In its November 11 Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s will offer Property from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection, comprising a suite of four works by Pablo Picasso representing the artist’s muses, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque. Together, the collection is expected to exceed $28 million.
Conor Jordan, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s, remarked: “As a noted Picasso connoisseur, Sam Rose spent many years assembling these compelling portraits with his wife, Julie Walters. It is Christie’s privilege to present these four wonderful works on their behalf. Picasso’s promethean creative force was inspired by one element above all others – the woman in his life. From the lyrical eroticism of the years of Marie-Thérèse eclipsed in turn by the tumultuous era of Dora, and then the vernal rebirth of Françoise’s presence, through to Jacqueline’s classical, watchful aura, this suite of works shines a glorious light on Picasso’s art and traces its progress over twenty-five years of innovation.”
Across more than half a century, Rose has ascended to one of America’s most prominent real estate developers, celebrated not only for his business acumen, but his belief in giving back to the community. Rose and his wife, Julie Walters, have committed themselves to empowering others—a generosity of spirit embodied in the couple’s collection of fine art. In their many years of collecting, Rose and Walters have come to amass a dazzling selection of examples of fine art by some of the greatest names of Modern, Post-War, Contemporary, and American art. This dedication to the arts included Rose’s tenure as a trustee of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where the couple’s collection was shown in the 2015–2016 exhibition Crosscurrents: Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection.
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Leading the collection is Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), 4 December 1937 ($15,000,000 – 20,000,000). The young blonde woman featured is distinctly Marie-Thérèse Walter, Picasso’s clandestine mistress and the mother of his second child, Maya.
“Marie-Thérèse incarnated a wild beauty, a sporty and healthy beautiful plant,” Brigitte Léal has written. Always attentive to his muse’s particular taste in attire, and how it characterized her, Picasso has flattered Marie-Thérèse in a stylishly cosmopolitan scooped-neck dress trimmed with fur, while happily exploiting a more casual but crowning accessory in the shape of a jaunty red plaid beret, which he used to accentuate her lavender-pink complexion and signature golden shoulder-length tresses.
Françoise Gilot, Picasso’s later mistress from 1943 and mother to two of his children, as well as the subject of a rhapsodic portrait in the present collection, had occasional contact with Marie-Thérèse during the post-war period.
From these observations and conversations with Picasso, Françoise in her memoir Life with Picasso revealed the first valuable insights into the strong appeal that Marie-Thérèse once held for Picasso:
“She became the luminous dream of youth, always in the background but always within reach, that nourished his work. The flight of a bird symbolized for him the freedom of their relationship. And over a period of eight years her image found its way into a great body of his work in painting, drawing, sculpture and engraving… Marie-Thérèse brought a great deal to Pablo in the sense that her physical form demanded recognition. She was a magnificent model.”

 Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme (Dora Maar) 28 March 1939, oil on panel. Estimate: $5,000,000 – 8,000,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018.
Following Marie-Thérèse, was Dora Maar, who is depicted in Buste de femme (Dora Maar) painted on 28 March 1939 ($5,000,000 – 8,000,000). Picasso continued to alter and reshape Dora’s visage in new, astonishing and challenging ways, which Dora neither protested nor resisted, assuming a role that she accepted almost masochistically.
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Dora had already done service two years earlier as the Weeping Woman soon after Picasso painted Guernica.
In the present painting she widens her eyes—in the shapes of glowing red cherries—as if mesmerized, staring in the face a challenge far greater than any she has ever known, a clear and present danger, and more of the same in the distant shape of things to come. Picasso had already made Dora his modern Sybil, employing her as a silent oracular presence whose facial expression of inner distress bespeaks her prophecy. Dora would remain the central, defining presence in Picasso’s wartime paintings.
Picasso painted his second wife Jacqueline about as often as he portrayed Dora. Jacqueline represented for the artist a sort of atavistic, Mediterranean ideal, dark and intense. The new style with which he presented her was marked by irrepressible energy and liberated handling of paint. She was his final muse who oversaw the late, great Indian summer of his career.
‘It is Jacqueline’s image that dominates Picasso’s work from 1954 until his death, longer than any of the women who preceded her,’ observed Picasso’s biographer, John Richardson. ‘It is her body that we are able to explore more exhaustively and more intimately than any other body in the history of art.’

 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 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 .   

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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. 

The painting will be exhibited inHong Kong from 25to 28May and in London from 15to 20June 2018 before its sale on 20 June at Christie’s King Street.

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.

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

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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.”

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.” 

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.

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.

Phillips to Offer Landmark Pablo Picasso Painting Sleeping Nude to be Included in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London in March 2018

‘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.'

Impressionist & Modern Art Highlights


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 has announced 

Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme (Fernande), the first major sculpture of the artist’s career as a leading highlight of the 20th Century Art Evening Sale taking place this May at Rockefeller Center in New York City (estimate on request; in the region of $30,000,000). One of two casts of the work owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tête de femme (Fernande) has been deaccessioned by the Museum; proceeds from the sale will be solely dedicated to future acquisitions for the Museum’s collection.

Marc Porter, Chairman, Christie’s Americas, remarks: “It is a true privilege for us to partner with The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the sale of Picasso’s seminal sculpture Tête de femme(Fernande) to benefit future acquisitions for the Museum’s collection. Created in 1909, this three-dimensional bronze bust, inspired by the artist’s first muse Fernande Olivier, is a rare example, representing an absolutely crucial moment in the development of Picasso’s artistic practice, Cubism, and the art historical canon at large. We are honored to offer this work in our 20th Century Evening Sale this spring.” 

Max Carter, Head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department, remarks: Tête de femme (Fernande) is Cubism’s definitive early sculpture. Its revolutionary architectural faceting, which Picasso sliced and sharpened after modeling in clay, suggests Vesalius as much as it does Frank Gehry. To offer this extraordinarily rich, beautiful cast on behalf of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the ultimate honor.”

Tête de femme (Fernande) stands as an icon of twentieth-century art. Executed in clay in 1909, the sculpture marks the culmination of an important series of painted studies of Fernande Olivier, the artist’s first great love. The work represents a pivotal moment in the development of Cubism, the radical movement that overturned centuries-old traditions of artmaking, entirely reshaping the development of modern art. With Tête de femme (Fernande), Picasso’s intense explorations into the nature of pictorial representation were synthesized into three-dimensional form. This concept opened the door to a host of new possibilities not just in the medium of sculpture, but of art itself, paving the way for many of the developments that would follow throughout the twentieth century.

Taking the distinctive features of his muse, in Tête de femme (Fernande) Picasso reimagined her head and face with a new language of faceted forms. Constructed with a combination of fragmented geometric and organically-shaped planes, the work is filled with a sense of rhythmic dynamism. Harnessing immaterial concepts of light and space, Picasso created a work that is both a figurative portrayal of a woman’s head, while at the same time, an almost abstract configuration of forms that reflect the light with a constant evanescence.

Tête de femme (Fernande) was born from an intense period of creative production that Picasso enjoyed over the summer of 1909. Together with Fernande, the artist traveled to the rural Catalonian village Horta de Ebro (now known as Horta de Sant Joan) in June, embarking on a period now recognized to be critical in the evolution of his art and Cubism as a whole. Worlds apart from Paris, Horta and its topography played a role in inspiring and informing the development of a new revolutionary formal language.

There are around 20 known casts of Picasso’s Tête de femme (Fernande), the majority of which are in public institutions including the Musée National Picasso, Paris; National Gallery, Prague; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York and Portland Art Museum, Oregon. Five of the nine casts from the later edition are also located in public institutions, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles Museum of Art; Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena; Stiftung Kulturbesitz, Berlin and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. The plasters are at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas and on long-term loan at the Tate, London.

Tête de femme (Fernande) will be on view along with selected highlights from the 20th Century / 21st Century Evening Sales in Hong Kong and London before returning to New York, where it will be on exhibition at Christie’s New York ahead of the sale in May.

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.


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. This work will be included in the Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale on November 13. 

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)


Painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday, Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’homme (estimate $8/12 million) was first exhibited in a one-man show that the artist curated himself in the hallowed halls of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon. Its grand scale, sweeping Gothic arches and quatrefoil windows were ideally suited to the great scale and impact of Picasso’s paintings from the period, including the present work. In many ways Tête d’homme epitomizes Picasso’s obsession with and admiration for Vincent van Gogh, echoing several elements of that artist’s  

Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat from 1887.


A monumental portrait of two figures by Pablo Picasso titled Joueur de flûte et femme nue (1970, estimate: £6,500,000-8,500,000),

Joueur de flûte et femme nue depicts a voluptuous female nude, being softly serenaded by a bearded, flute-player seated next to her. The couple’s interlocking limbs, and the sensual, spontaneous style of the painting all serve to infuse the composition with a heady sense of eroticism, a feature that characterises much of Picasso’s late work. The unmistakable, hieratic profile of the seated nude in Joueur de flûte et femme nue is that of Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s great love, wife and final muse, who first appeared in his work in 1954.

Cubism is considered to be Pablo Picasso’s most important contribution to Modern art, and 

Femme assise of 1909 is one of the artist’s greatest Cubist portraits. It comes from the series of canvases that revolutionised Picasso’s working methods and established his path to Cubism.The painting will lead Sotheby’s June Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale in London.

Femme assise was painted in the summer of 1909 when Picasso travelled to his native Spain to the remote village of Horta de Ebro which could only be accessed by mule. Here Picasso created a series of canvases based on the features of his lover Fernande Olivier, over a period described as ‘the most crucial and productive’ in the artist’s career. 

Following his major breakthrough in 1907 with

 Les Demoiselles d’Avignon – considered the single most influential painting created in the 20th Century - Picasso continued on his path towards a purer pictorial language of Cubism. This progression,  seen to spectacular effect in Femme assise , radically redefined the representation of form. Femme assise is among a small number of portraits from this series remaining in private hands, with most of the others held in prestigious international museum collections.

Last sold at auction in 1973 at Sotheby’s in London, Femme assise has remained in a private collection for over forty years, during which time it has featured in some of the most important international exhibitions of Picasso’s work.

Pablo Picasso’s major works sold at auction:

Pablo Picasso ’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) , 1955, sold for $179,354,992 in May 2015 

Pablo Picasso ’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 1932, sold for $106,482, 496 in May 2010 

Pablo Picasso ’s Dora Maar au chat, 1941, sold for $95,216,0 00 in May 2006 

Pablo Picasso ’s Garçon à la Pipe (Le jeune apprenti), 1905, sold for $104,168,000 in May 2004 

Highlighting the modern section is Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973) Homme assis, 1969 ( estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000) from the Collection of Kenneth and Susan Kaiserman. The colorful portrait of an exuberant swordsman derives from the critical group of Picasso’s famed late mousquetaire works and was exhibited at the famous 1970 Avignon exhibition at the Palaisdes Papes.

The sale also showcases important works on paper by Picasso from the Francey and Dr. Martin L. Gecht Collection, including

La Minotauromachie, 1935 (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000),

La Femme qui pleure, 1937, (estimate: $1,800,000-2,500,000),

and La Femme au Tambourin, 1939 (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000).

The finest Blue Period work by Pablo Picasso to come to auction in a generation and a seminal Waterlilies by Claude Monet will be offered in Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York on 5 November 2015. Both works are on offer from the remarkable collection of William I. Koch – American entrepreneur, collector and America’s Cup winner. 

Picasso painted the stunning La Gommeusein 1901, emboldened by the success of his first exhibition in Paris but reeling from his friend Carlos Casagemas’s suicide. The work exemplifies the poignancy, introspection and sexual charge of this seminal moment in the history of Modernism (estimate upon request). 

Monet’s exquisite Nymphéas, painted circa1908, hails from the celebrated series depicting his lily pond at Giverny (estimate $30/50 million). The series dominated the artist’s later years and is now seen as his crowning achievement. 

The paintings will be on public view in Sotheby’s London galleries from 10–15 October during Frieze Week, before returning to New York for exhibition beginning 30 October. 

Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said:“Above all others, Picasso’s Blue Period is prized as his breakthrough – this is the moment Picasso becomes Picasso. With her dreamy gaze and frank sensuality, the cabaret dancer in La Gommeuseushers in a new visual idiom for the 20thcentury. Exploring themes which would underpin Picasso’s work for the next seven decades, the painting stands squarely between the bohemian nightlife of Toulouse-Lautrec and the raw expressionism of Munch and Schiele.”


La Gommeuse is among the rare and coveted pictures created during Picasso’s storied Blue Period (1901–1904). The painting dates from the second half of 1901, following Picasso's widely-praised exhibition at Ambroise Vollard's gallery that June, and amidst the sobering aftermath of his friend 3Carlos Casagemas's suicide earlier inthe year. Just shy of 20, the artist was sharing an apartment in Paris with his Catalan anarchist friend and dealer Pere Mañach, and the two young men immersed themselves in the debauchery of the Parisian demi-monde. This dizzying mixture of professional success and personal tragedy brought Picasso's creative genius to a climax. Central to this artistic narrative is La Gommeuse: portrayed in an absinthian haze of sexual ennui, she is both temptation and downfall incarnate, a high priestess of melancholy and a siren of joie de vivre. 

The reverse of La Gommeuse adds another fascinating aspect to the work’s history. Conservation arranged by Mr. Koch in 2000 revealed a portrait of Pere Mañach on the reverse of the canvas, which had been hidden under lining for a century. The whimsical and wicked rendering depicts the dealer wearing an exotic headdress, with his head on a female body in a dancer’s leap. Scholarship has suggested that Picasso was frustrated with Mañach's professional dealings during the summer of 1901, and this outrageous portrait encapsulates their tumultuous friendship. The reverse painting is inscribed “Recuerdo a Mañach en el día de su santo” [I remember Mañach on his Saint’s Day], suggesting that Picasso gifted La Gommeuse to his friend on the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul (29 June), with the scene acting as his personal version of a boisterous birthday card. 

Appreciating the unique art historical insight that this rediscovered work offers into the young artist’s life, Mr. Koch constructed a custom display in his home so that both compositions could be viewed from opposite sides of the same wall. 

Recent scholarship devoted to Picasso's production of 1901 suggests that the present work was acquired by Ambroise Vollard sometime after 1906. Inlater years, it came into the possession of the young New York dealer Lucien Demotte, who sold it to Josef von Sternberg (1894-1949), one of the most acclaimed Hollywood film directors of the 1930s. Sternberg is best remembered as the director of the 1930 film The Blue Angel,in which Marlene Dietrich made her screen debut as the louche cabaret performer Lola Lola. It appears that Sternberg acquired this work about one year after the release of The Blue Angel,so the subject of La Gommeuse would have held great significance for the director.

The upcoming November auction marks the fourth occasion that Sotheby’s has offered La Gommeuse at auction. Sternberg first sold the picture in 1949 at Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York, where it was purchased for $3,600. It was later acquired by Jacques Sarlie, a Dutch-born financier based in New York, who had befriended Picasso after the war and amassed a large collection of the artist's work from every period. Sarlie sold this picture at Sotheby's in London in 1960, at which point it was acquired by a dealer for a private collection. The picture was later offered for sale at Sotheby's in 1984, when it was purchased by Bill Koch, who has kept it in his private collection for the last 30 years. Picasso’s Blue Period works are exceptionally rare, with most residing in prestigious institutional collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Musée Picasso, Paris; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Works from this seminal moment in the artist’s oeuvre recently were celebrated in the Courtauld Institute of Art’s 2013 exhibition Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901. 

Looking Forward to the Past:
A Curated Evening Sale
Monday, May 11, 2015 at Christie’s Rockefeller Center

 “To me there is no past or future in my art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all. The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in other times, is not an art of the past; perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was...”                                                                                       — Pablo Picasso, 1923

This painting will be one of several masterpieces offered in ‘Looking Forward to the Past’, a sale created in the spirit of the many great curated auctions Christie’s has organized in New York and London in recent years. This majestic, vibrantly-hued painting is the final and most highly finished work from Picasso’s 1954-55 series in which he looked back to 19th century French master Eugene Delacroix for inspiration, and in the process created a new style of painting.  Previously sold at Christie’s in 1997, as part of the legendary record-breaking sale of the Collection of Victor and Sally Ganz, this iconic work promises to cause a sensation on the global art market this spring.  Christie’s has estimated the work to realize in the region of US$140 million.

Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) is among the first announced highlights of Looking Forward to the Past, an innovative addition to the spring calendar of auctions at Christie’s New York this May.  This tightly-curated sale focuses on the major artists of the 20th century and reflects a growing trend of cross-category collecting among Christie’s clients.

From the auctioneer’s rostrum it has become clear that the many new global collectors chasing masterpieces have been waiting for an iconic Picasso to appear on the market. None is more iconic than Les femmes d'Alger. The sale on Monday 11 May promises to be a sale to remember,” said Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie’s Global President.


Les femmes d'Alger, (Version “O”) is the culmination of a herculean project which Picasso started after Matisse’s death, in homage to his lost friend and competitor, and which over a period of 2 months and after nearly 100 studies on paper and 14 other paintings led to the creation of this phenomenal canvas in February 1955. With its packed composition, play on cubism and perspective, its violent colors, and its brilliant synthesis of Picasso’s lifelong obsessions, it is a milestone in Picasso’s oeuvre and one of his most famous masterpieces, together with Les demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 and Guernica, 1937. One can arguably say that this is the single most important painting by Picasso to remain in private hands. Its sale on 11 May will be a watershed moment in the market for 20th century art,” stated Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art.

“In today’s fast-paced world, it Is remarkable to think that Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger exhibits as much freshness of perspective and approach as it did when it was painted,” declared Loic Gouzer, International Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, who curated the ‘Looking Forward to the Past’ sale.


Picasso had been fascinated by Delacroix all his adult life, and by Les femmes d'Alger in particular. Picasso’s companions testify to this intense fixation; Sir Roland Penrose states, “This picture haunted his memory,” (R. Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Art, Berkeley, 1985 (3rd ed.), p. 395).  In her 1964 book, Francoise Gilot recounted: “He had often spoken to me of making his own version of Femmes d’Alger and had taken me to the Louvre on an average of once a month to study it. I asked him how he felt about Delacroix. His eyes narrowed and he said, “’That bastard. He's really good.’”


In addition to being an homage to Delacroix, Picasso conceived the series as an elegy to his friend and great artistic rival, Henri Matisse. Matisse had died in November 1954, five weeks before Picasso began the series. Matisse viewed Delacroix as his immediate forebear in terms of color and Orientalist subject matter. Carrying this legacy forward, Picasso stated, “When Matisse died, he left his odalisques to me as a legacy,” (R. Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Art, Berkeley, 1985 (3rd ed.), p. 396).


 Les femmes d'Alger (Women of Algiers), Variation "N"

 They later sold ten to the Saidenberg Gallery, keeping Versions C, H, K, M and O for themselves. Version C was sold in 1988 following the death of Victor Ganz, and the remaining four, including Version “O”, were sold as individual lots at the 1997 sale at Christie’s New York. 

 Pablo Picasso
Les femmes d'Alger (Version "H")
oil on canvas
51.3 x 63.9 in.
$7,152,500 at Christie's New York, 11/10/97

 The collection totaled $206.5 million, setting an auction record for any single-owner collection at the time. Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) was sold for $31,902,500, more than twice its high estimate of $12 million.