$100 million Picasso auction in Las Vegas

$100 million Picasso auction in Las Vegas

$100 million Picasso auction in Las Vegas

This fall, Sotheby’s and MGM Resorts will auction eleven works by Pablo Picasso in Las Vegas, in a sale that will coincide with the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Spanish painter.

Pablo Picasso — Femme au beret rouge-orange — 1938Pablo Picasso — Homme et enfant — 1969

Source: Sotheby’s. Images: Pablo Picasso: “Femme au béret rouge-orange”, January 1938 — “Homme et enfant”, July 1969 ·· images © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The eleven works on auction were created between 1917 and 1969, so the sale cover a good part of Picasso’s artistic career, although leaving out his most innovative and important period, the one from the Blue Period to Cubism.

The star of the sale will be “Femme au béret rouge-orange”, one of the last portraits Picasso painted of Marie-Thérèse Walter, two years after the painter met Dora Maar, with whom he was to start a relationship. The painting carries a pre-sale estimate of $20 million to $30 million, which seems reasonable and even conservative: just three years ago, another portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter painted in 1937, “Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter)”, fetched £50 million ($69 million) at Sotheby’s London. However, the green and yellow palette is more reminiscent of works such as “La fille de l’artiste à deux ans et demi avec un bateau” (1938), which failed to find a buyer when it came up for auction at Sotheby’s in 2009 (estimate between $16 million to $24 million). In any case, the market situation is now more favorable, as prices seem to be going up after the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19.

In addition to this portrait of Marie-Thérèse, Sotheby’s has announced two more portraits for the Las Vegas auction: “Homme et enfant” and “Buste d’homme”, both painted in 1969, with an estimated price of $20–30 million for the former and $10–15 million for the latter. Like most of Picasso’s late works, neither is a masterpiece, although the fact that they were part of Picasso’s major exhibition at the Palais des Papes in Avignon in 1970 may increase their value. More interesting is “Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs”, a still life painted in 1942, which carries a pre-sale estimate of $10–15 million. #2021 #ArtMarket #PabloPicasso #theartwolf

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