Pablo Picasso’s 1932 “Femme Assise Près d’une Fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)” (“Woman Sitting Near a Window”), a portrait of his teenage lover and “golden muse” from a critical point in his career, will be offered in Christie’s newly rebranded 20th Century Art Evening Sale in New York on May 11, with an estimate of $55 million.
“Femme Assise Près d’une Fenêtre” last came to auction in February 2013, when it sold for £28.6 million ($44.8 million, including fees) to the third party guarantor at Sotheby’s London. The buyer was the only person that appeared to be bidding on the work, over the phone with Patti Wong, the chairman of Sotheby’s Asia. At its first appearance at auction, at Christie’s New York in 1997, it sold for $7.5 million (including fees). The painting was also recently on public display in Picasso 1932, an exhibition devoted to the artist’s “year of wonders” at the Musée Picasso, Paris, and Tate Modern, London in 2017-2018.
The portrait will now anchor the auction house’s new 20th Century Art Evening Sale, which replaces the Impressionist and Modern Art category and includes works from roughly the 1870s to the 1980s. Fusco said the new format was introduced out of an “organic need to redefine the way auctions were held and to respond to the way collectors are collecting.”