Picasso’s Golden Muse Leads London Sales with £49.8 Million
Second-Highest Auction Price for Any Work of Art Ever Sold in Europe (GBP): Picasso’s Weeping ‘Golden’ Muse Makes £49.8 Million / $69.2 Million At Sotheby’s London
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ONGOING SALE INCLUDE: A One-of-a-Kind Chandelier by Alberto Giacometti Lights up the Sale Room with £7.6 Million / $10.6 Million Picasso’s Conquering Matador Emerges onto Arena To Sell for £16.5 Million / $22.9 Million Derain’s Fauvist Masterpiece Set Sail at £10.9 Million / $15.1 Million
Pablo Picasso’s Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) (1937)
A painting of heightened psychological intensity, Pablo Picasso’s Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) brings to a climax a turbulent and highly charged year. The great masterpiece of his career Guernica was created in 1937, and in the final month of that momentous year he painted this vivid, poignant and intense image of his golden muse Marie-Thérèse Walter. The women of Picasso’s life are the fulcrum of his creative genius, unquestionably essential to his creative and intellectual processes. Indeed, this work appears to have been used as a means for exploring his feelings for Marie-Thérèse and his new lover Dora Maar two women. There is a conscious blurring of the two styles inspired by the two muses, reaching its pinnacle in the silhouetted ‘other’ that emerges from behind the main subject. Hailing from a distinguished private collection, this painting had never been seen on the market before. PLEASE SEE THE DEDICATED PRESS RELEASE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS WORK.
Alberto Giacometti’s Lustre avec femme, homme et oiseau (1952) (est. £6,000,000-8,000,000)
A dramatic yet elegant chandelier, Lustre avec femme, homme et oiseau is one of only three casts by Alberto Giacometti for select patrons – a unique instance where all of the key motifs of the artist’s career appear in a single work. Hailing from a pivotal moment in the artist’s oeuvre, the piece encapsulates the existential anxiety of the post-war period whilst casting magical shadows that animate Giacometti’s heightened reality. Giacometti only produced such objects for friends, and the plaster model for Lustre avec femme, homme et oiseau was originally commissioned around 1949 by Louis Broder, a Swiss publisher. One of only three cast in bronze, it is appearing at auction for the first time. PLEASE SEE THE DEDICATED PRESS RELEASE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS WORK.
Pablo Picasso’s Le Matador (1970) (est. £14,000,000-18,000,000)
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. 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. Le Matador was most last exhibited in the show at the Palais des Papes in Avignon shortly after the artist’s death in 1973, and is being offered at auction for the first time. PLEASE SEE THE DEDICATED PRESS RELEASE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS WORK.
André Derain’s Bateaux à Collioure (1905) (est. £7,500,000-10,000,000)
Completed during the summer of 1905 at Collioure, a small town on the Mediterranean coast, Bateaux à Collioure is one of Derain’s most accomplished Fauve landscapes. Matisse had invited the artist to the small coastal town in early July and the sun-drenched atmosphere had a profound effect on Derain. Derain executed some thirty oil paintings over the two months he spent at Collioure, and they constitute not only a peak in his own body of work, but are also a milestone in the development of twentieth century art. In September 1905 he returned to Paris, shortly before the opening of the famous Salon d'Automne, where the boldly coloured canvases exhibited by artists including Braque, Matisse, Vlaminck and Derain himself provoked the art critic Louis Vauxcelles to proclaim them the ‘wild beasts’.
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