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.
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.