Picasso’s works sold for nearly $ 110 million at auction in Las Vegas

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Written by By Jeevan RavindranJacqui Palumbo, CNN

A selection of 11 works by Pablo Picasso has been auctioned for a collective total of over $ 110 million, after being exhibited for years in a restaurant in Las Vegas.
Part of the MGM Resorts collection, the pieces were the hallmark of the Bellagio Hotel’s Michelin-starred French and Spanish restaurant, “Picasso,” which is inspired by the artist’s life and work.

Coinciding with the artist’s 140th birthday, MGM said the auction was the “biggest and biggest” sale of art ever to be held in Las Vegas. Organized by Sotheby’s, it was the auction house’s first evening marquee sale to take place outside of New York City.

The star attraction of Saturday’s auction was “Woman with a Red-Orange Beret,” or “Woman with a Red-Orange Hat,” a 1938 portrait of Picasso’s lover and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter.

Pablo Picasso, “Woman with a red-orange beret” Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s and MGM Resorts

The Spanish artist’s affair with Walter lasted from the late 1920s to the 1930s, and she gave birth to their daughter Maya in 1935. Picasso’s portraits of Walter are characterized by vivid color and a sense of privacy.

Initially estimated at between $ 20 million and $ 30 million by Sotheby’s, it was ultimately sold at auction for over $ 40 million.

Picasso, who lived from 1881 to 1973 and spent much of his adult life in France, is often referred to as the founding father of the Cubist style of painting – and “Woman with an orange-red beret” bears some similarities to his famous later portraits of his lover Dora Maar.

The auction also featured two Cubist-inspired still lifes from the early 1940s during WWII – with “Still Life with Fruit Basket and Flowers” ​​selling for $ 16.6 million, while “Still Life aux fleurs et au compotier “sold for $ 8.3 million.

Pablo Picasso, "Still life with fruit basket and flowers"

Pablo Picasso, “Still life with a basket of fruits and flowers” Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s and MGM Resorts

Meanwhile, “Man and Child,” or “Man and Child,” which Sotheby’s said reflected his later spontaneous style and role as a father, sold for just over $ 24 million.

However, it was the less publicized works that far exceeded their estimates, with the painted terracotta “Le Déjeuner surherbe” from 1962 – inspired by the painting of the same name by Edouard Manet from 1863 – selling for more than four times its highest price. Evaluation.

The auction also featured a carved white pitcher with three faces etched into its surface. The work, produced by Picasso in 1954, was valued between $ 60,000 and $ 80,000 but sold for $ 315,000.

Some works have also revealed intimate details of Picasso’s life and work – with a ceramic tile showing the window of his studio “La Californie”, which overlooked the sea in the city of Cannes, in southern France. .

Pablo Picasso, "Ewer - Face"

Pablo Picasso, “Ewer – Face” Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s and MGM Resorts

In an August press release, MGM said the auction would help “deepen diversity and inclusion” within its art collection. Part of the profits will be reinvested in the art market, according to Sotheby’s.

An MGM spokesperson said via Sotheby’s that the group’s collection contains a further 12 other works by Picasso that will replace items auctioned at the Bellagio’s “Picasso” restaurant.


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