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Femme Assise (c 1949)
By Pablo Picasso
Estimated price: £5,000,000-7,500,000
Price realized: £8,553,250

The Modern Master, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), executed hundreds of paintings, drawings and prints of his fellow artist, muse and lover, Françoise Gilot, during their relationship. His remarkable portrait of the heavily pregnant Françoise, Femme Assise, from 1949, is a celebration of the impending birth of their daughter, Paloma.

This colourful and dynamic painting, full of vibrancy and darting lines perhaps points to Mili’s famous photographs taken at this time, in which he encouraged Picasso to ‘draw’ in the air with an electric light. This canvas attracted competitive bidding when it was sold at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on June 20 in London, becoming the top lot of the sale when it fetched £8.5 million. Femme Assise maps not only the development of Picasso’s depictions of Françoise but also his long standing exploration of the theme of the sitting woman.

Formerly part of the impressive collection of the American steel magnate and philanthropist Leigh B Block, it was offered for sale from a private Californian collection.

For a discussion on the painting by Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, London, click here.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August 12, 2012.