Picasso’s ‘Femme Assise’ sold for $63.7 million ($20 million more than its estimated price) at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday, making it the most expensive Cubist painting ever sold at auction. This artwork was painted in the summer of 1909, when the artist traveled to the remote Spanish village of Horta de Ebro and was reportedly inspired by his lover and frequent model Fernande Olivier.
“It has been decades since a Cubist painting of this caliber has been offered at auction,” Helena Newman, a global co-head of Impressionist and Modern art at Sotheby’s, said in a statement. “Virtually all the significant works of this period are in international museums and institutions.”
The painting has been in the possession of a private collector since 1973, when Sotheby’s first sold the painting for about $500,000.
The second-highest-priced work sold, Amedeo Modigliani’s Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) from 1919, fetched $56.7 million.