Pablo Picasso’s portrait, “Femme au béret et à la robe quadrille” (Marie-Thérèse Walter), valued at US $50 million, will be displayed in Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery from January 30 to February 2, 2018, ahead of its auction in London next month.
The portrait will go under the hammer at the Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in London on February 28, 2018. It was painted in 1937, a year that prompted the painter to produce his powerful anti-war painting “Guernica” and the “Weeping Woman” series. Walter became Picasso’s muse and lover at the age of 17 after the painter saw her outside the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris and was struck by her beauty. Picasso kept Walter hidden from his wife, Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova, for years, and in 1935, Walter gave birth to their daughter Maya.
“Femme au béret et à la robe quadrille” of the then 28-year-old Walter is very different from her earlier portraits, where Picasso’s “Golden Muses” tend to be shown with voluptuous curves and in passive poses. Here, Walter sits poised, lips pursed, her face in sharp, angular lines. Walter committed suicide four years after Picasso’s death in 1973.
The painting will be on view with other highlights from the London sale at Sotheby’s gallery, 5/F One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, noted the South China Morning Post.