Picasso Painting breaks auction record with $63.7 million

Pablo Picasso’s ‘Femme Assise’, painted in the summer of 1909 — when the artist traveled to the remote Spanish village of Horta de Ebro, which could only be reached by mule — sold for $63.7 million at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday, marking it the most precious cubist painting ever sold at auction.

It has been decades since a Cubist painting of this caliber has been offered at auction. Virtually all the significant works of this period are in international museums and institutions.

Helena Newman, Sotheby’s global co-head of Impressionist and Modern Art

Depicting the French artist, model and Picasso’s mistress Fernande Olivier, the painting is one of a series of innovative paintings that helped him achieve the style we consider Cubism today. ‘Femme Assise’ has been part of a private collection since 1973, when Sotheby’s in London sold the painting for about $500,000 in today’s dollars.

After a bidding war between enthusiasts at Sotheby’s in London, the painting sold for $63.7 million on Tuesday, which is $20 million more than the expected price. The work was purchased on behalf of a telephone bidder by Adam Chinn, part of Art Agency, Partners, an art consultancy recently acquired by Sotheby’s.

The overall record for a Picasso was set last year when the 1955 painting ‘Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)’ sold for $179.4 million at Christie’s.

The second most expensive work sold on Tuesday was a portrait of Amedeo Modigliani, ‘Jeanne Hébuterne (au Foulard)’, which sold for $56.7 million. A Modigliani painting of a reclining nude sold for $170.4 million at Christie’s last year.

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Mon Rouge! Mon Parfum! The style of personality

Few manage to outgrow famous parents. To outsiders it may seem fantastic to be the offspring of a legend, but the children themselves often end up with the psychiatrist in search of their own identity without being compared over and over again to the much more brilliant father or mother (or both!).

A woman’s own style is more important to a woman than ever-changing fashion styles that other designers impose on her.

Paloma Picasso

Paloma Picasso has never had much trouble with that. As the daughter of Pablo Picasso, according to experts the most brilliant painter of this century, she has always chosen her own path. And in this way has gradually become just as famous as her father. Design has always been in Paloma’s blood. Not only her father’s creative genius played a role in this, but also her mother, French painter Françoise Gilot, and her grandfather, Emile Gillot; he designed and manufactured perfumes. As a little girl she spent days in his laboratory playing with fragrance and coloring ingredients.

She is best known for her jewelry collections for Tiffany & Co. and the perfume Mon Parfum, of which she also designed the flacon herself. Sophisticated and sensual, Mon Parfum is an extraordinarily stunning creation: a perfect example of the so sophisticated ‘Chypre’ category. At the age of three, she only wanted to go to school on the condition that she could wear red nail polish, and later red lipstick. That was allowed. And so it came to be: Mon Rouge. The blood red lipstick that Paloma Picasso would bring to the market years later. ‘To let other women enjoy that beautiful red’.

Her fragrance was intended, so Paloma Picasso explained, ‘for strong women like herself’. And for the packaging, Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum took, what else? …her signature red, black and gold.

In the top of this complex fragrance, you’ll be greeted by bergamot, lemon, hyacinth, angelica, ylang ylang and touches of clove. At its heart, a bursting bouquet of flowers: rose de Mai, jasmine, iris (orris) and lily of the valley. Mon Parfum also offers a tremendous ‘sillage’, or trail, and lasts for hour after beguiling hour on the skin, rounded out by a blend of oak moss, vetiver, patchouli, civet, amber, musk, cedarwood, tobacco and sandalwood.

30 years on, Mon Parfum is loved by women all over the world, and the men who get close to them. Paloma Picasso once described her vision of fragrance: ‘In the same way that a jewel can fill your eyes with wonder, fragrance can intoxicate the senses and reveal unknown pleasures and new sensations. This ornament becomes an integral part of your personality.’