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Pablo Picasso’s ‘Nature morte à la fenêtre’ is the headliner at a Christie’s evening sale

Placed against two jagged lines, Picasso’s painting of a white human head and a vase filled with leaves is estimated to achieve $40,000,000.

Christie’s will introduce one of the most interesting paintings of Pablo Picasso, ‘Nature morte à la fenêtre’, as the top lot of the 20th Century Evening Sale on May 11, 2023, during the Spring Marquee week of sales.

Pablo Picasso painting Christie's auction

This significant painting of the artist’s golden muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, was created in 1932, a year when the artist reached an unparalleled pinnacle of invention. It is also the first in his astonishing series of works devoted to her. The list included works like ‘Jeune fille devant un miroir’, ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’, and ‘Femme assise près d’une fenêtre’ which was sold for more than $103 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2021. Marie-Thérèse Walter’s classical profile, curves and cropped hair came to dominate every element of his artistic output in the early 1930s.

The painting featuring white human head and a vase filled with leaves against jagged lines was first showcased at the Picasso retrospective at the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris during the summer of 1932 and remained in the artist’s possession until the 1980s. Appearing for the first time at auction, this precious work is estimated to sell for $40,000,000.

Commenting on the sale, Vanessa Fusco, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, and Co-Head of Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale, says, “Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life reinvigorated every area of his work, her statuesque form, radiant beauty, and carefree sensibility inspiring the artist to create works that stand among the finest of his entire career. Created at the very start Picasso’s annus mirabilis, Nature morte à la fenêtre is a testament to Marie-Thérèse’s powerful influence, and the great flourishing of activity she inspired in his art, from drawing to sculpture, printmaking to painting.”

Some other works by Mr. Picasso that seem to be inspired by Ms. Walter include ‘La Fenêtre Ouverte’ and ‘Buste de femme de profil. Femme écrivant’.