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.
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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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