ELEVEN artworks by Spanish artist Picasso have been sold for over €93,6 million at an auction held in Las Vegas.
The works had been displayed in the Picasso Restaurant at the Bellagio Hotel before being put up for sale by MGM Resorts.
The most expensive piece was ‘Femme au beret rouge-orange’ (1938), which went under the hammer for a whopping €34.3 million at the auction held by Sotherby’s on October 23.
This is one of the last portraits Picasso painted of his muse Marie-Therese Walter. It far surpassed the expected sale price which had been estimated at between €17m and €25m.
Two large portraits painted in 1969 were also sold: ‘Homme et Enfant’, for €20.6 million and ‘Buste d’homme’ for €8 million.
Two still life paintings in the Cubist style were also sold; ‘Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs’, for €13.7 million and ‘Nature morte aux fleurs et au compotier’ for €6.8 million.
The work that exceeded expectations was ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’, one of the many interpretations of Edouard Manet’s painting of the same name that Picasso painted between 1959 and 1962.
At auction it sold for €1.8 million, four times the estimate.
The auction was held to coincide with the 140th anniversary of Picasso’s birth in Malaga (Spain).
MGM Resorts explained in a press release that it decided to sell these Picasso pieces in order to introduce more variety into its art collection.
“While diversity has long been part of MGM Resorts’ DNA, we are committed to creating an even more inclusive collection, while giving a greater voice to artists from underrepresented communities,” said hotel chain spokesperson Ari Kastrati.
Sotheby’s did not disclose the identity of the buyers.