Christie’s is pleased to announce the best lot of 20th The evening sale of the century on May 11, 2023 during Spring Tent Sale Week will be Pablo Picasso Still life in the window (estimate upon request; in the region of $40,000,000). This important large-scale 1932 portrait of the golden muse by artist Marie-Thérèse Walter dates from one of the most celebrated moments of Picasso’s entire career. This May will be the first time in history that the work goes up for auction.
Vanessa Fusco, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art and Co-Director of Christie’s 20th Evening sale of the century, observations, “Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life revitalized all areas of his work, her sculptural form, her radiant beauty and her carefree sensibility inspired the artist to create works that are among the best of his entire career. Created at the beginning of Picasso annus mirabilis, Still life in the window it is a testimony of Marie-Thérèse powerful influence and the great flourishing of activity that inspired his art, from drawing to sculpture, engraving to painting.”
Giovanna Bertazzoni, vice president of 20th and 21St century art, observations, “We are delighted to be showing this masterpiece at Christie’s New York as we celebrate Picasso’s contribution to art history and legacy this year, which is celebrating its 50th year.th anniversary of his death”.
Still life in the window it was painted in January 1932, a key year for the artist. Throughout this year, Picasso reached an extraordinary point of creativity in his paintings, inspired by the forms of Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose classical profile, curves and close-cropped hair dominated all aspects of the its production in the early thirties. Still life in the window is one of the first paintings in this exceptional series dedicated to her, which includes seminal works such as The dream, Young girl in front of a mirror, nude, green leaves and bust i Woman sitting near a window (Marie-Thérèse)—which sold at Christie’s in 2021 for over $103 million. The example offered this season represents a very significant moment in the history of the so-called “Annus mirabilis” (year of wonder).
Almost immediately after its completion, Still life in the window it was shown in the renowned Picasso retrospective at the Georges Petit Galleries in Paris during the summer of 1932; it hung prominently in the gallery’s Grande Salle, just above The dream. He then traveled to the Kunsthaus Zürich for the inaugural Picasso museum show later that year. The painting would continue to remain in the artist’s personal collection for the rest of his life, hidden from public view until the 1980s.