One of Picasso’s most iconic portraits, originally created on 30th October 1932, which is actually part of a series that first introduced his loving mistress and golden muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, will be offered at Sotheby’s as part of an Impressionist and Modern Art sale next month in London. With a price estimate of whopping $56.2 million, this Picasso’s stunning and monumental depiction of Marie-Thérèse Walter, Femme assise près d’une fenêtre is regarded as one of Picasso’s most famous works.
The story of Picasso’s first encounter with Marie-Therese, in 1927, when she was seventeen years old, and their subsequent love affair, is among the most compelling in 20th century art history. Picasso’s young lover Marie-Thérèse became a primary emblem of love, sex and desire in 20th century art. At first, her presence in Picasso’s works was veiled or coded as the artist was at the time married to Olga Kholklova, but when portraits of Marie-Therese hung, for the first time, alongside Cubist and Surrealist works in the major Picasso retrospective of 1932 at Galerie Georges Petit in Paris and at the Kunsthaus in Zurich, Picasso’s secret came out. Upon seeing Picasso’s numerous references to a specific face that was clearly not her own, Olga Khokhlova was suddenly alerted to the presence of a new woman in her husband’s life.
We have also earlier seen that some works of Pablo Picasso achieved incredible sums. His finest works like the Picasso’s cherry-red musketeer painting Homme a l’epee got sold for $11.5 million, Femme assise, robe bleue, depiction of Dora Maar, who became Picasso’s lover and muse at the expense of Marie-Therese Walter sold for $29.1 million, a 1934 image of the artist’s mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter reading with her sister, Femmes Lisant (Deux Personnages) achieve $21.3 million, La Lecture, which shows the artist’s 17-year-old mistress Marie-Therese Walter snoozing in an armchair fetched $40.7 million.
Sotheby’s will also offer an exceptional group of works from eminent collections. The sale includes a Claude Monet’s monumental Nympheas avec reflets de Hautes Herbes of 1914-17 (estimated at $19.2-$28.7 million) from the artist’s most celebrated series of works, and an outstanding example of Fundacio Joan Miro’s important post-war paintings, Femme revant de l’evasion of 1945 (estimated $12.7-$19.2 million) that comes to auction for the first time in 50 years from the Wallach Collection.