Top 10: Picasso Paintings
10) Au Lapin Agile (1904)
Painted in 1904, this work depicts the renowned Monmartre cabaret of the same name. In 1905 Picasso gave the painting as a gift to the Cabaret’s owner Frédé, who later sold in 1912 for just $20.
In 1952 it was purchased by collector Joan Whitney Payson for a price of $60,000, and later consigned to a Sotheby’s auction by her daughter Lorinda de Roulet. It was sold in 1989 for a price of $40.7 million.
9) ‘La Lecture’ (1932)
One of a series of portraits of Picasso’s mistress and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, the painting was initially exhibited exhibited in 1932 in the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris.
During its history it passed through a number of high profile private art collections, before being sold at a London Sotheby’s auction in February 2011. After just six frantic minutes of bidding, it sold to an anonymous collector for a price of $40,711612.
8) Yo, Picasso (1910)
This 1901 self-portrait, created during Picasso’s ‘Blue Period’, previously sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 1981 for a price of $5.8 million to collector Wendell Cherry. Cherry then sold it in May 1989 at another Sotheby’s auction for a price of $47.9 million, making it the second-most expensive artwork ever sold to that date.
7) Femme Assise dans un Jardin (1938)
This 1938 painting depicts another of Picasso’s former lovers, the surrealist photographer Dora Maar. Painted in his Cubist style, the work was allegedly executed in a single day. Formerly part of the collection of the renowned cellist and composer Daniel Saidenberg, the work was sold after his death in 1997.
It appeared in a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 1999, where it sold for a price of $49,502,500.
6) Les Noces de Pierrette (1905)
This Blue Period piece was painted in 1905, and originally purchased by the art dealer Josef Stránský in 1907 directly from the artist. It was later owned by Picasso’s own son Paulo Picasso, from 1945 until 1962, when it was acquired by the Swedish financier Frederick Roos.
Roos donated the work to the French Government, who later sold it at an auction by Binoche et Godeau in November 1989 for a price of $51,670,000.
5) Femme aux Bras Croisés (1902)
This ‘Blue Period’ portrait of a woman, believed to be an inmate at the Saint-Lazare asylum, was painted in 1902. The painting is one of the many Picasso works bought directly from the artist by the celebrated writer and art collector Gertrude Stein (who Picasso famously painted in 1906).
It was purchased by the American art collector Chauncey McCormick in 1936, and was sold by his relatives at a Christie’s auction in November 2000 for a price of $55 million.
4) Dora Maar au Chat (1941)
This 1941 work once again features Dora Maar, posing with a black cat sat on her shoulder.
After being sold by the Chicago collectors Leigh and Mary Block in 1963, the painting remained hidden from public view until May 2006 when it appeared at a Sotheby’s auction.
It was sold by the Gidwitz family of Chicago to an anonymous collector for a price of $95,216,000, almost doubling its pre-sale estimate of $50 million.
3) Garçon à la Pipe (1905)
This portrait of a young boy was created in 1905 during Picasso’s ‘Rose’ period, and was originally purchased in 1950 by the US ambassador to Britain John Whitney for a price of $30,000.
In May 2004 the painting was sold at auction by the Greentree Foundation, a philanthropic body founded by Whitney's wife Betsey after his death in 1982. It was sold by Sotheby’s in New York for a price of $104 million, breaking the World Record price for a painting at auction and becoming the first artwork to pass the $100 million mark.
2) Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932)
Not only his most expensive painting, this 1932 portrait of Picasso’s muse Marie-Thérèse Walter also holds the world record price for a painting sold at auction. The work was originally purchased in 1951 by the celebrated art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody, who acquired it directly from Picasso’s agent Paul Rosenberg for a price of just $19,800.
It was sold at auction by Christie’s in May 2010 for the World record price of $106.5 million.
1) Le Rêve (1932)
Part of the same series of portraits as ‘La Lecture’ and 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust', this work depicts Picasso’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter asleep in a chair. It was previously sold at a Christie’s auction in November 1997 for a price of $48.4 million, making it the sixth most expensive paiting ever sold to that point.
According to legend, in 2006 the painting’s current owner Steve Wynn agreed to sell the work to renowned art collector Steven A. Cohen for $139 million. However, whilst showing it to friends Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the painting. After a lengthy but superbly successful repair process, the story had a happy ending, when Cohen bought the painting for $155 million in March 2013.
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