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Picasso mistress auctions sketches

June 18, 2005|From Associated Press

Most of Pablo Picasso's loves had tortured lives and tragic ends: Marie-Therese Walter hanged herself; Jacqueline Roque shot herself; Dora Maar became a recluse, dying poor and alone.

But 79-year-old Genevieve Laporte, with her throaty chuckle, floral-print dresses and white orthopedic shoes, not only survived but became an award-winning poet and documentary filmmaker.

When Laporte was 24, she began a two-year secret affair with the 70-year-old master. She was a beautiful, tousle-haired former Resistance fighter, and Picasso sketched her over and over -- naked in bed, in a fantasy wedding gown, in a prim sailor sweater.

On June 27, Laporte will sell 20 of Picasso's sketches, worth an estimated $1.8 million to $2.4 million.

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