Everything you need to know about the muse and the artwork
A portrait of the young mistress of the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, Marie-Thérèse Walter, will soon go on sale for the first time next month
In this file image, a visitor looks at the painting ‘Femme Nue Couchée’ by Pablo Picasso during an April 1, 2009 media preview of an exhibition on loan to Sotheby’s New York titled ‘Women’. AFP
A portrait of the young mistress of the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, Marie-Thérèse Walter, will soon go on sale for the first time next month.
According to a report by CNNthe painting, Naked woman lying (Woman Nude Reclining), could sell for more than $60 million at its first auction at Sotheby’s in New York on May 17.
The ‘Modern Evening Auction’ will also see works by some of the greatest painters, including Claude Monet The Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Saluteby Pierre-Auguste Renoir nude wiping and Marc Chagall The model.
Picasso’s work, painted in April 1932, could become one of Walter’s most valuable portraits ever offered at auction.
Let’s find out more about the painting and the muse:
Who was Marie-Thérèse Walter?
Marie-Thérèse Walter was a French model, lover and muse of Pablo Picasso. According to CNN report, Picasso first met Walter in Paris in 1927 when she was 17 and still married to his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, a Russian-Ukrainian dancer.
During his association with Picasso, Walter would become the inspiration for some of his most sought after paintings, drawings and sculptures.
It is believed that Picasso kept his relationship with Walter a secret from his wife until at least 1935. During the more than 10 years they were together, Picasso created more than 80 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints by Walter, including including the 1932 painting. Nude, green leaves and bustand oil on canvas from 1937 Woman with beret and checkered dress (Woman wearing a beret and a checkered dress).
Walter also figured prominently in Picasso’s famous suite of Vollard etchings, made from 1930 to 1937.
The portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter put up for sale
the Naked woman lyingpainted in April 1932, captures “Walter as a sea creature, with languid gray limbs and a woman’s face in profile”.
According to CNN report, quoting a Sotheby’s statement, Picasso pioneered “the history of the nude figure with his depiction of her reclining in a highly abstract space, highlighting her biomorphic figure with touches of fertility, sexuality and thank you”.
Sotheby’s said the anonymous seller acquired “Lying Naked Woman” directly from Picasso’s descendants in 2006 after the large-scale painting had been kept in the artist’s estate for decades.
The art auctioneer said that after spending decades in the Spanish artist’s estate, the painting was acquired by an anonymous art lover in 2006 from Picasso’s descendants.
Helena Newman, global head of impressionist and modern art at the auctioneer, described “Reclining Naked Woman” as a “revolutionary and extraordinarily sensual work”.
Brooke Lampley, president and head of global art sales at Sotheby’s, added that the work is “a radical break from tradition”.
“…this striking painting is at the same time a profoundly lyrical ode to the artist’s unbridled desire for Marie-Thérèse; with its infinitely flexible, fin-like limbs, the portrait continues to enchant as it perfectly captures Picasso’s muse as the ultimate expression of his genius,” Lampley said as quoted by CNN.
Last year, another portrait of Walter by Picasso, Woman seated near a window (Marie-Thérèse)sold at Christie’s New York for $103.41 million.
In 2010, Picasso Nude, green leaves and bust sold for over $106 million.
With contributions from agencies
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