Oil on canvas titled Femme à la montre (“Woman with a Clock”), painted by Pablo Picasso in August 1932, sold yesterday Wednesday 8/11/2023 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York for a price of $139.9 million, in other words the second highest amount ever paid for a painting by the artist, who died fifty years ago.
The oil painting (130 x 97 cm) was actually the subject of one of the iconic Spanish artist’s muses and lovers, the French painter Marie-Thérèse Walter. The value of the painting was estimated to exceed $120 million, Sotheby’s noted.
It belonged to the wealthy New York collector Emily Fischer Landau, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 102. The art collection she owned includes works signed by other holy monsters (Johns, Kooning, Rothko, Warhol…) and is being auctioned off in two separate special evenings, last Wednesday and tonight, at Sotheby’s headquarters in New York.
The painting hung in the living room of the deceased’s Manhattan apartment, said the house, which expects sales of the Landau collection to exceed $400 million in total.
The highest price ever paid for a Pablo Picasso painting – and at the time for painting in general – was the $179.4 million paid for the 1955 painting Les femmes d’Alger — Version O.
At least six of the artist’s paintings have changed hands for over $100 million.
“Women of Algeria” was sold in 2015 against the highest price ever given for a work of art until then, according to international agencies and the Athens News Agency.
That record, however, crushed the $450 million paid in 2017 for the Salvator Mundi oil painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.