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Picasso painting of mistress Marie-Therese sells for $45 million

February 06, 2013|By Kelly Scott
  • The Picasso portrait "Femme assise pres d'une fenetre" was sold Wednesday at Sotheby's London.
The Picasso portrait "Femme assise pres d'une fenetre"… (Carl Court )

A bidder paid $45 million Tuesday for a Picasso portrait of his mistress and muse Marie-Therese Walter at the opening sale of a series of auctions at Sotheby's in London of impressionist, surrealist and modern artwork.

The painting, “Femme assise pres d’une fenetre,” painted in 1932, is of Walter sitting in a black armchair. The painting was last sold in 1997 for $6.8 million.

In 2010, Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," also of the young woman, set a record for the artist by selling for $106.5 million at Christie's in New York. It had belonged to the estate of Frances Brody, the Los Angeles arts patron who died at age 93 in 2009.

QUIZ: Guess the screaming high price

Reuters reported that before the Picasso sale, a series of works on paper by Austrian artist Egon Schiele had nearly stolen the limelight at the Sotheby's auction.

Schiele's 1914 "Lovers (Self Portrait With Wally)" fetched $12 million, which was a record for a Shiele work on paper.

The work was one of several by the artist sold by the Leopold Museum in Vienna to help settle a restitution case involving art that was stolen by the Nazis in the 1930s.  The combined tally for Schiele works was $22 million.

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