Woman with a Watch: Picasso's masterpiece 'Golden Muse' sells for £113m

Nov 10: A 1932 Pablo Picasso masterpiece has sold for $139m (£113m), the second highest price ever achieved for the artist, according to Sotheby's.

Femme a la Montre (Woman with a Watch) also becomes the most valuable work sold at auction this year.

It depicts Marie-Therese Walter, the French model who was also a lover of the Spanish artist, and the subject of many of his paintings.

The work had been valued at $120m before it went to auction.

It was previously owned by the late art collector Emily Fisher Landau, who bought it in 1968 and has been purchased by an anonymous buyer.

Femme a la Montre is a portrait of Walter seated in a throne-like chair against a blue background.

Known as Picasso's "golden muse", Walter was 17 when she met the 45-year-old Picasso in Paris, and the pair later entered into a secret relationship while he was still married to Olga Khokhlova, a Ukrainian ballerina.

Walter became the subject of many of Picasso's paintings, including the 1932 work Femme Nue Couchee (Nude Reclining Woman), which sold for $67.5m at auction in 2022.

Picasso's most expensive painting to sell at auction was Les Femmes d'Alger (Women of Algiers), which fetched $179.3m at Christie's in 2015.

Born in Malaga in 1881 and growing up in Barcelona, Picasso moved to Paris in 1904 and became one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

He experimented with a wide range of styles and themes in his career, most notably inspiring "Cubism", which shows objects or people from many angles at the same time.

In a career spanning eight decades, he created about 150,000 pieces.

He had four children and died in southern France in 1973, aged 92.

Although his creative legacy was never in doubt, recent years have seen questions over his behaviour. He has been accused of cruelty, womanising and coercive behaviour.


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