‘Woman With Clock’ Breaks Box Office – Iconic Spanish Painter’s Mistress In Oil Painting
Painting master Pablo Picasso’s oil on canvas entitled Femme à la montre (“Woman with a Clock”), which he created in August 1932, was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Wednesday for a price of 139.9 million dollars, 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 died 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 a painting in general – was $179.4 million for Les femmes d’Alger — Version O ), which he had designed in 1955.
At least six of the artist’s paintings have changed hands for over $100 million.
“Women of Algiers” sold in 2015 for the highest price ever paid for a work of art up to that time.
That record, however, crushed the $450 million paid in 2017 for the Salvator Mundi oil painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
Undeterred by the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, unscathed by the crisis of inflation and the cost of living, the international art market continues to enjoy great health. The autumn season of auctions organized by New York’s best-known houses began yesterday Tuesday, and billions of dollars in sales are expected this week alone, as other Picasso works are sold, among others.