Picasso Painting Smashes Record with $179 Million Bid
NEW YORK, May 11 (UPI) — A Pablo Picasso painting of scantily clad women broke the record for the highest price ever fetched by a piece of art at auction with a bid of $179 million.
The painting, “Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’),” fetched $179.37 million Monday at a Christie’s auction in New York.
The famed Spanish painter completed the piece as part of his 1954-55 series inspired by 19th century French artist Eugene Delacroix. Les femmes d’Alger was the final work of that series and was also considered an homage to fellow artist Henri Matisse, a contemporary.
“Les femmes d’Alger, (Version ‘O’)” is the culmination of a herculean project which Picasso started after Matisse’s death, in homage to his lost friend and competitor, and which over a period of two months and after nearly 100 studies on paper and 14 other paintings led to the creation of this phenomenal canvas in February 1955,” said Olivier Camu, deputy chairman, impressionist and modern art with Christie’s, prior to the auction.
The painting was originally valued at $140 million, $34 million more than ever fetched for a Picasso painting. “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” sold for about $106.5 million at an auction at Christie’s in 2010.
Another record could be set Monday with the auction of a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti. “L’homme au doigt (Pointing Man)” has an estimated value of $130 million, several millions of dollars more than the world record price paid for a piece of sculpture at auction of $104.3 million.