Bloomberg News

Picasso Painting of Lover Fetches $41.5 Million in N.Y.

November 08, 2012

'Femme a la fenetre (Marie-Therese)'

"Femme a la fenetre (Marie-Therese)" (April 13, 1936) by Pablo Picasso. The painting is estimated at $15 million to $20 million. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg

Picasso’s 1932 painting of his young mistress Marie-Therese Walter fetched $41.5 million tonight at Sotheby’s (BID:US) in New York.

Philip Hook, senior specialist at Sotheby’s London, bought it for a client on the phone.

“Nature Morte aux Tulipes” is at once a portrait and a still life, depicting Walter’s sculpted white head on a pedestal next to a bouquet of tulips and some sexually suggestive fruit. It had been estimated to bring $35 million to $50 million.

The work was the top lot by estimate of Sotheby’s evening Impressionist and modern art sale, expected to bring more than $169 million.

The seller had been guaranteed a minimum undisclosed price, provided by Sotheby’s, a third party or a combination thereof, according to the catalog. A third party also provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot, ensuring that the work will sell.

It sold for $28.6 million in 2000 at Christie’s in New York. Picasso’s paintings of Walter have been popular with collectors, surging since his “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” went for $106.5 million at Christie’s in New York in 2010.

Most of the top Marie-Therese paintings that have come up for auction have been dated 1932, the year of Picasso’s big retrospective at Galeries Georges Petit in Paris.

To contact the reporters of this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at kkazakina@bloomberg.net; Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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  • BID
    (Sotheby's)
    • $39.3 USD
    • -0.35
    • -0.89%
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