Pi­casso leads Christie’s 20th-cen­tury sales

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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.’

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