Portrait of Picasso's muse Marie-Therese to highlight Sotheby's London sale
May 9, 2018: Rendering Marie-Thérèse in a tender, romantic way, this Pablo Picasso artwork is an intimate painting which evokes a private moment from the artist’s clandestine relationship with his most beloved muse. Marie-Thérèse appears in manifold guises throughout Picasso’s oeuvre. In this painting, Picasso focuses on her innocence and youthfulness, depicting her serenely penning her thoughts. Appearing at auction for the first time in over two decades, Buste de femme de profil. Femme écrivant will highlight Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London on June 19, 2018.
In this painting, Marie-Thérèse’s unmistakeable profile and sweep of blonde hair are silhouetted in front of a window at the Château de Boisgeloup, the grand house outside of Paris acquired by Picasso in 1930. Her sensual curves are echoed by the diffused green light emanating from the gardens beyond the window – the deliberate juxtaposition of the horizontals and verticals of the window frame with the soft curves of her body masterfully emphasising her form. The composition recalls both his celebrated Cubist paintings and the series of monumental sculpted heads that he created in 1931, again inspired by Marie-Thérèse.
Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department &
Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said, “Buste de femme de profil. Femme écrivant comes to auction having remained unseen in public for more than 20 years, marking the third consecutive season this year where an exceptional Picasso from the 1930s has headlined our flagship evening sale. It is all the more wonderful to offer this painting created in the spring of 1932 at a time when we are enjoying a world-class exhibition devoted to this year at Tate Modern in London.”
The painting is exhibited in New York (May 4-16), Hong Kong (May 25-31) and London (June 14-19) before going for sale.