This Picasso Portrait Is Expected To Fetch $40 Million At Auction

The piece will come to auction for the first time in history.

Pablo Picasso’s Nature morte à la fenêtre is the top lot of Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale. Estimated at $40 million, the 1932 portrait depicts the painter’s golden muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter.

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“Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life reinvigorated every area of his work, her statuesque form, radiant beauty, and carefree sensibility inspiring the artist to create works that stand among the finest of his entire career,” said Vanessa Fusco, Christie’s Head of Impressionist and Modern Art.

The painting came from a pivotal year for the artist where he created over 100 important works. This significant period in the artist’s life is also called his “annus mirabilis” or “year of wonder.”

Marie-Thérèse Walter Pablo Picasso Painting
Image via Instagram @christiesinc

Nature morte à la fenêtre was shown at the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris in 1932 then at the Kunsthaus Zürich later that year.

It then remained in the artist’s private collection for the rest of his life. The work wasn’t available for public viewing until 1981.

Originally inherited by the artist’s granddaughter Marina Picasso, she has sold several of his pieces to fund her charity work.

The late Swiss art dealer Jan Krugier then acquired the painting. He also helped Marina sell Picasso’s art until he died in 2008.

Krugier’s descendants inherited the million dollar painting and are the ones putting it up for sale now.

Marie-Thérèse Walter Pablo Picasso Painting
Image via Instagram @christiesinc

Unlike other portraits where Picasso portrays his muse’s curvaceous body in warm colors, Nature morte à la fenêtre comes across as more subtle.

The painting is of a bust of Walter sitting on a platform. Next to the bust are a plate of fruits and a jar of plants. The background is of an open window and the whole piece’s color palette is soft and pale.

This year marks Picasso’s 50th death anniversary. Christie’s will be honoring his contributions to the art world at the 20th Century Evening Sale on May 11, 2023.

Banner image via Instagram @christiesinc.

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