Picasso sculpture sold for P2.5 billion in New York

In this file photo, taken on April 29, 2022, a woman watches Pablo Picasso’s “Tete de femme” during Christie’s 20th and 21st Century Art press preview at Christie’s in New York City. Christie’s announced that Picasso’s “Tete de femme (Fernande)” became the most expensive artist’s bronze ever sold at auction, at $48.48 million. Angela Weiss / AFP

NEW YORK, United States – A bronze statue by Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso has sold for $48.48 million (about 2.5 billion pesos) at Christie’s in New York.

Christie’s said Picasso’s “Tete de femme (Fernande)” became the most expensive artist’s bronze ever sold at auction, at $48.48 million.

The Spaniard held the record for the most expensive work of 20th-century artwork ever sold at auction until Monday night, when an iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe by American pop artist Andy Warhol fetched $195 million.

Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘0’)” had previously set the record at $179.4 million in 2015.

Meanwhile, a sculpture by Edgar Degas sold for $41.6 million at Christie’s in New York on Thursday, the highest price paid at auction for a work by the French artist.

Degas’ sculpture — “Petite danseuse de quatorze ans” — is a delicate bronze with a brown patina depicting a young ballerina in a muslin skirt with a ribbon in her hair.

It’s not the original — on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington — but a cast made by Adrien-Aurelien Hebrard 10 years after the Impressionist’s death in 1917.

That didn’t stop it from setting a new record for Degas, easily surpassing the previous record of €22.2 million set in 2015 with another version of the same work.

The statue, sold Thursday, was one of 12 pieces in the collection of Anne Bass, an American businesswoman who died in 2020.

She was the patron of several major American museums and New York ballet, and was the wife of billionaire oil heir Sid Bass.

Her collection included two paintings by the American expressionist Marc Rothko, of which ‘Untitled (Shades of red)’ sold for $66.8 million, and three works by Claude Monet.

His ‘Parlement, soleil couchant’, a dark but radiant oil on canvas, sold for $75.96 million.


© Agence France Presse

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