NEW YORK, NY.-
On October 6, Christies
will offer Pablo Picassos Tête de femme sur fond jaune, 18 July 1934 ($8-12 million), as a highlight of its 20th Century Evening Sale. Picasso kept the present example in his personal collection for the duration of his life a testament to the importance that it held for him and it remained in his familys possession following his death, until 2013. The sale on October 6 marks Tête de femme sur fond jaunes first appearance at auction.
Giovanna Bertazzoni, Vice-Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Christies, remarked: It is a privilege to be able to offer this colourful, intimate portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, painted in the golden years of their love, alongside the enigmatic and magisterial depiction of Dora Maar in the 1941 Femme dans un fauteuil. Seen side by side, these portraits offer a fascinating window into the coexisting aspects of Picassos personality and show the astonishing versatility and extraordinary depth of his portraiture.
In 1927, Picasso met Marie-Thérèse Walter, opening with: You have an interesting face. I would like to do a portrait of you. I feel we are going to do great things together. These now infamous lines were Picassos introduction to the young, golden haired woman he met one January evening outside the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. With her youthful innocence, luminous vitality and statuesque form, Marie-Thérèse Walter would become one of Picassos greatest muses; her presence, image, and the overwhelming desire she aroused in him inspiring an ecstatic outpouring of works that more than fulfilled the artists prediction.
Tête de femme sur fond jaune is a vibrant example of Picassos portraits of his young muse, painted in 1934 at the height of Walters influence on Picassos art. Radiating bright summer light, and saturated with the vibrant palette that has come to define Picassos depictions of Walter, this portrait was painted in Boisgeloup, the artists picturesque château in rural Gisors, northwest of Paris. Here, Picasso has described the unmistakable features of Walterher classical profile, wide-eyed gaze, and voluptuous bodywith his own language of linear signs. So well did he know her form by this point, he has reproduced it like a cartographer, mapping the rise and fall of her visage and bust, the shape of her eyes, and the pout of her lips, with a few, assured outlines.