Picasso portrait of lover sells for nearly $45 million at auction

By Daniel S Levine,

A Pablo Picasso work sold for £28.5 million ($45 million) at Sotheby’s in London Tuesday night. The piece is titled Femme Assise Pres d'une Fenetre and was completed in 1932.

The piece shows Marie-Therese Walter, the master painter’s lover, who he met in 1927 when she was just 17. Their relationship went public in 1932, after years of Picasso including her image in his works. At the time, he was married to Olga Khokhlova, notes The Telegraph.

“We are delighted that this stunning and monumental portrait, which is part of the defining series that introduced his 'golden muse' to the public eye, fetched such a strong price,” Sotheby’s Helena Newman told the Telegraph. She added that, “This particular portrait is a striking and notably modern-looking work from one of the artist's most celebrated periods.”

According to The Associated Press, Newman notes that Picasso’s portraits of Walter have become some of Picasso’s most sought-after pieces. In 2011, his La Lecture sold for £25 million, double what it was expected to go for. In November, Nature Morte aux Tulipes went for £26.5 million.

The record price for a Picasso work is £70 million for Nude, Green Leaves and Bust in 2010.

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