Art Auctions/CHRISTIES ARTS and CULTURE

PABLO PICASSO’S FEMME ASSISE PRÈS D’UNE FENÊTRE (MARIE-THÉRÈSE), 30 OCTOBER 1932 TO HIGHLIGHT MAY 20TH CENTURY EVENING SALE

Written by Aksel Ritenis

PABLO PICASSO’S

FEMME ASSISE PRÈS D’UNE FENÊTRE
(MARIE-THÉRÈSE), 30 OCTOBER 1932

TO HIGHLIGHT MAY 20TH CENTURY EVENING SALE

Estimate in the Region of $55 Million

Image

PABLO PICASSO

Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)
oil on canvas

57 ½ x 44 ⅞ in. (146 x 114 cm.)

Painted in Boisgeloup on 30 October 1932

 

NEW YORK – On 11 May, Christie’s newly introduced 20th Century Evening Sale in New York will be highlighted by Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse), 30 October 1932 (estimate in the region of $55 million). One of the extraordinary series of iconic portraits that Picasso painted of his golden-haired muse during this landmark year, this monumental work is among the most stately and impressive depictions of Marie-Thérèse that the artist painted.

Vanessa FuscoCo-Head of the 20th Century Evening Sale, remarked: “From the defining series that introduced Marie-Thérèse to the public eye, Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) was painted during a seminal year in which Picasso crafted a new pictorial language to depict his muse and lover. This striking, monumental portrait was last seen publicly in the superb exhibition devoted to the artist’s “year of wonders,” Picasso 1932, at the Musée Picasso, Paris and Tate Modern, London in 2017-2018. As one of the most ground-breaking and influential artists of the 20th Century, it is only fitting that this exceptional painting will lead the inaugural newly formatted 20th Century Art Evening Sale at Christie’s.

Painted in Boisgeloup on 30 October 1932, Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) crowns this great series of 1932 masterpieces. By this time, Marie-Thérèse had risen to ascendance in every area of her lover’s output. In the present work, she has claimed absolute command, an idolized muse now reigning deity-like over the artist and his creation.

Here, Picasso has presented Marie-Thérèse as a winged goddess, a modern-day Nike, her head lunar, luminous and sculptural as if carved from marble, and yet her body sensuous and soft, orbiting around her fiery red torso. No more the languorously reclining nude lost in a private reverie, in the present portrait she is clothed, alert and upright, her omniscient gaze demonstrating that she is in complete command of her subjects, the artist, her lover, clearly captive to her thrall.

The year 1932 witnessed the extraordinary outpouring of large-scale, color-filled, rhapsodic depictions of Marie-Thérèse. Having deified her statuesque forms and classical profile in the great series of plaster busts the year prior, Picasso allowed the influence of his young mistress and the bliss in which he found himself, fill his painting. Pictured both seated and reclining, this series saw Picasso perform artistic alchemy with these two revered motifs. With this great succession of paintings—which includes works such as Le RêveNude, Green Leaves, and BustLe Lecture (Musée Picasso, Paris), and Jeune fille devant le miroir (The Museum of Modern Art, New York) —Picasso reached the height of his artistic powers. “There is no doubt,” William Rubin declared, “that 1932 marks the peak of fever-pitch intensity and achievement, a year of rapturous masterpieces that reach a new and unfamiliar summit in both his painting and sculpture.”

 

Pre-sale exhibitions:

Preview in Hong Kong: 12-14 April

Preview in London: 20-22 April

Preview in New York: 30 April – 11 May

 

About Christie’s  

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christies.com provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price – see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.

 

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About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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