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Sunday 19 August 2018

Picasso portrait sells for £50m

Sotheby's employees hold up one of Pablo Picasso's portraits of his muse Marie-Theres Walter. Photo: AP
Sotheby's employees hold up one of Pablo Picasso's portraits of his muse Marie-Theres Walter. Photo: AP

Catherine Wyatt

A Picasso artwork has sold for nearly £50m (€56m) - the highest auction price for any painting ever sold in Europe in sterling.

The artist's portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, known as his "golden muse", sold for £49.8m at Sotheby's London.

The 1937 painting has never been sold on the market before, having previously been part of a private collection.

Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée was painted in the same year as the artist's famous Guernica.

Thomas Bompard, head of Sotheby's London impressionist and modern art evening sales, called the oil on canvas work "one of the greatest portraits by Picasso to appear on the market in recent years".

He added: "Of all of the artist's styles and decades, this is the one that most epitomises the legacy of Picasso as a portraitist of women - with this particular painting encompassing all of the key elements for which he is recognised and celebrated."

The painting sold for the second highest price in sterling in Europe is Rubens' The Massacre of the Innocents, which sold for £49.5m in 2002.

Irish Independent

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