60 million dollars - that's a lot of money. But is it enough for a portrait painted by Pablo Picasso in 1932? The portrait shows Picasso's lover at the time, Marie-Thérèse Walter, and is called "Femme nue couchée." On May 17, it will become clear whether the price is justified. For then the painting will be sold at an evening auction by Sotheby`s. A disaster like the uncompleted NFT auction some time ago is probably not to be expected this time.
One thing is certain: "Femme nue couchée" is one of the most important paintings of the Spanish painter. May 17 will also be a special date because the painting, which according to the auction house has been in the possession of the anonymous seller since 2008, will then be on display at auction for the first time. It was created in a year that for many Picasso experts marks the beginning of a new period. 1932 was the year Picasso radically freed himself from traditional painting. In 2018, an exhibition at the Tate Modern was dedicated to Picasso's work in 1932, focusing primarily on portraits of Walter.
At the addition, the painting is also strongly connected to the artist's personal experience and biography. Picasso's lover Marie-Thérèse Walter was 17 years old when he met and painted her. Picasso was 45 at the time - and unhappily married to Olga Khokhlova, a Russian-Ukrainian dancer. Picasso painted his lover in many other works - she was one of his most important motifs in the following 20 years. The fact that Picasso, the non-swimmer, depicted Walter as a many-limbed sea creature in the painting "Femme nue couchée" is probably not coincidentally related to the fact that Walter was an excellent swimmer.
But is the price now justified? 60 million dollars - that's a lot of money, even for a work of art. But one must keep in mind that some works by Picasso have been auctioned for considerably more. "Femme assise près d'une fenêtre" was auctioned at Christie`s a little over a year ago for $103 million. In comparison, $60 million almost sounds like a bargain.