Picasso masterpieces fetch US$108.9m at Sotheby's auction

‘Buste d'Homme’ by Pablo Picasso is on display during a preview of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art sale in New York, October 30, 2009. ― AFP pic

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LAS VEGAS, Oct 26 ― Eleven masterpieces by Pablo Picasso fetched US$108.9 million (RM452 million) at a Sotheby's auction in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The works went under the hammer at the Bellagio hotel and casino, known for its extensive art collection, ahead of what would have been the Spanish painter's 140th birthday.

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The jewel in the crown of MGM Resort's auctioned collection was “Femme au beret rouge-orange” (“Woman with a red-orange cap”), one of the last portraits by the artist of Marie-Therese Walter, who he began an affair with when she was 17 years old, and inspired many of his most celebrated works.

It sold for nearly US$40.5 million, after a starting price was estimated at US$20-30 million.

“Painted in January 1938, the portrait of his beloved muse Marie-Therese Walter stands as a crowning achievement amid one of Picasso's most inspired and productive periods,” Sotheby's said in a Tweet.

Two iconic portraits from the last years of the painter's life were also sold: “Homme et enfant” (“Man and child”) ― for US$24.4 million ― and “Buste d'homme” (“Bust of Man”) ― at
US$9.5 million ― which sold below its estimated starting price of 10 million.

Other works sold include ceramics, several works on paper and a number of still lifes. ― ETX Studio

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