Painting of Picasso’s pregnant lover sells for £8.5mil
LONDON : Pablo Picasso’s ‘Femme assise’, which depicts the Spanish artist’s lover Francoise Gilot while heavily pregnant with their daughter Paloma, sold for over £8 million at a London auction on Wednesday.
The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s realised £92,583,550 (US$145,541,340, 114,618,435 euros) in total with the 1949 Picasso work topping the public lots after going under the hammer for £8,553,250.
Gilot was aged 21 when she met Picasso, then 61, in a restaurant in the spring of 1943. The couple never married but had two children together. Their son, Claude, was born in 1947 while Paloma was born in 1949.
The evening’s most anticipated work, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 1888 ‘Baigneuse’, was sold privately before the auction.
‘Les jours gigantesques’ by Rene Magritte smashed pre-sale expectations after selling for £7,209,250, the second highest price for the artist at auction.
“There were particularly notable prices for Surrealist works, reflecting the current fervour for this field,” said Jay Vincze, Christie’s International Director.
“These were led by Magritte’s ‘Les jours gigantesques’ which sparked a fierce battle between 10 bidders and which sold for almost five times its high estimate,” he added.
There were also artist records set for Italian painter and printmaker Giorgio Morandi and German painter Kurt Schwitters. – AFP