New York City, Nov 8 (EFE).- Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting “Femme à la montre” (Woman with a Watch) sold for more than $139 million at auction at Sotheby’s in New York on Wednesday, making it the second most-expensive painting by the Spanish artist to sell at auction.
A woman looks at masterpiece titled ‘Femme a la Montre or Woman with a Watch’ by Pablo Picasso at Sotheby’s Dubai gallery in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 25 September 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/ALI HAIDER
The painting, the most precious in the late Emily Fisher Landau’s collection that went on sale Wednesday, reached $121 million at the hammer, which with taxes rose to around $139.5 million, still behind the artist’s most expensive canvas, “Femmes d’Alger” (Women of Algiers) which sold in 2015 for $179.3 million.
Picasso’s canvas was a portrait of Marie Therèse Walter, his lover and muse at the time he was married to Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova. In it, Walter appears with a yellow watch on her wrist, a gift from the painter and an object that she he revered.
The painting remained in the artist’s personal collection for decades and was purchased in 1968 by Landau, one of the most voracious collectors of her time and discoverer of great talents in contemporary painting in the United States and Europe.
In fact, the lots auctioned Wednesday contain the best jewels of this Landau Collection, and have included other exceptional pieces such as a series of the Flags by Jasper Johns ($41 million), one by Ed Ruscha (“Securing the Last Letter (Boss)),” $34 million), one by Cy Twombly (untitled, $23 million) and another by Mark Rothko (untitled, $19 million), among the most sought-after.
However, none of the works auctioned Wednesday exceeded the range that Sotheby’s itself had suggested in each of those cases, and some did not even come close to the lower end of the range. EFE