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Picasso painting auctioned off for $139 million

November 9, 2023

Pablo Picasso's masterpiece "Woman with a Watch," is the most valuable work of art sold globally at an auction this year.

 New York, visitors take photographs of Pablo Picasso's Femme a la montre (1932) during a photocall at Sotheby's auction house.
The piece depicts one of the Spanish artist's lovers and muses , the French painter Marie-Therese Walter Image: Fatih Aktas/AA/picture alliance

Pablo Picasso's 1932 painting "Woman with a Watch" has been sold for $139.3 million (€129.9 million) at an auction by Sotheby's in New York.

It is the second-highest price ever achieved for the painter's work.

An anonymous buyer outbid two others to secure the masterpiece on Wednesday.

The story behind Picasso's 'Woman with a Watch'

The painting depicts one of the Spanish artist's lovers and muses — French painter Marie-Therese Walter —  seated in a throne-like chair against a blue background.

Walter met Picasso in Paris in 1927 at the age of 17, when he was still married to Russian-Ukrainian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova. Their passionate affair inspired Picasso to create numerous portraits of Walter. 

The painting is a part of a special sale showcasing an estimated $400 million collection of artworks owned by art patron Emily Fisher Landau who died this year. 

Picasso’s path in Málaga

The most-expensive Picasso painting to sell at auction, "Les femmes d'Alger" fetched $179.3 million, including a buyer’s premium, at Christie’s in 2015.

Picasso remains one of the most influential artists of the modern world.

dvv/lo (AFP, Reuters)