Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, “Woman with a Watch,” achieved a staggering $139.3 million in a Sotheby’s auction in New York, making it the second-highest price ever for a work by the renowned Spanish artist. Painted in 1932, the artwork depicts Marie-Therese Walter, one of Picasso’s muses and companions. Sotheby’s had initially estimated the painting’s value to be over $120 million.
The auction was part of a special sale featuring the collection of Emily Fisher Landau, a prominent New York art patron who passed away at 102. Julian Dawes, head of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, described the Pablo Picasso’s painting as a “masterpiece by every measure.” The sale of pieces from Landau’s collection, including works by Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol, is expected to generate approximately $400 million.
Marie-Therese Walter, often referred to as Picasso’s “golden muse,” is the subject of another Picasso work, “Sleeping Woman,” set to be auctioned at Christie’s with an estimated value between $25 and $35 million. Picasso and Walter’s relationship began in 1927 when she was 17 years old, while Picasso was still married to his first wife, Olga Khokhlova. Walter, who featured in the painting “Woman Sitting Near a Window,” sold by Christie’s in 2021 for $103.4 million, also bore Picasso’s daughter, who passed away last year.
Despite Picasso’s lasting influence on modern art, his legacy has been clouded in recent years by allegations of exerting violent control over the women in his life, especially in light of the #MeToo movement. Picasso’s impact remains significant, and his artworks continue to command astronomical prices in the art market.
Repurposed article originally published in the India Today