Picasso leads Christie’s 20th-century sales
AN arresting crop of modern masterpieces is going under the hammer at Christie’s during the company’s 20thcentury art event, which runs from June 17 to 30. Kicking off the proceedings is the Modern British and Irish Art sale, which includes sculptures by Henry Moore—family Group and Seated Woman—plus Barbara Hepworth’s Curved Form (Bryher II) and works by Sir Anthony Caro, L. S. Lowry and Sir Stanley Spencer.
The highlight of the week will be the Impressionist and Modern Art sale, in which the star piece is a painting by Picasso. Estimated at £25 million to £40 million, Femme écrivant (Marie Thérèse) (above) is a striking portrait of Marie-thérèse Walter, one of his muses, which he painted in March 1934.
‘This painting portrays Marie-thérèse, the young lover who was his amour fou between 1927 and the early 1940s,’ says Giovanna Bertazzoni of Christie’s. ‘The true power of Femme écrivant (Mariethérèse) is the subject’s youthful vitality, captured by Picasso at the height of his love for her. In particular, this work had great sentimental value for Picasso, having remained in his collection until 1961, long after his affair with Marie-thérèse had come to an end.
It’s an exciting time to offer such a strong, iconic painting on the open market, and we are eager to see how it will touch and move collectors around the world.’