Picasso’s Femme assise, painted in 1909, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s June Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London. The painting has been in the possession of a private collector since 1973, when Sotheby’s first sold the painting for about £340,000. Now, it is expected to fetch $40 million when hit the auction block on June 21st. Cubism is considered to be Pablo Picasso’s most important contribution to Modern art, and Femme assise is one of the artist’s greatest Cubist portraits. It depicts a woman in angular green, gold, and beige shapes and is rumored to be inspired by his lover and model Fernande Olivier.
It 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.
Femme assise will be on view in Sotheby’s New York galleries from 16th May, in Hong Kong from 26-30 May and in London from 10 June, prior to the Evening Auction on 21 June 2016.
Picasso holds the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, set last year with the $179.4 million sale of Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O), 1955, at Christie’s New York.