Picasso stars as Christie’s London sale hits target

LONDON, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Pablo Picasso once again proved
his appeal to wealthy collectors when the artist’s portrait of
his second wife Jacqueline was the top lot at Christie’s
impressionist and modern art sale in London on Tuesday.

“Tete de femme (Jacqueline)”, painted in 1963, fetched 8.1
million pounds ($13 million), around double its presale estimate
of 3-4 million pounds. The sale price includes buyer’s premium
whereas the estimate does not.

The painting has not been seen in public since 1967 and has
been in the same collection for nearly 30 years.

Jacqueline had an unusually short neck and it is said that
Picasso would jokingly exaggerate its size in his portraits —
as in this elongated example.

The result helped the world’s leading auctioneer raise 66.7
million pounds from the sale overall, according to provisional
results on Christie’s website, towards the top end of
expectations of between 48.3-69.1 million pounds.

The total is further evidence of a relatively robust art
market that has been less affected by the economic crisis than
many experts had predicted.

The second highest price on the night was 7.1 million pounds
paid for Dutch artist Kees van Dongen’s “La Gitane” versus a
pre-sale estimate of 5.5-7.5 million pounds.

Russian painter Natalia Goncharova’s “Espagnole”, offered at
auction for the first time, was sold for 6.4 million pounds,
above the high estimate of six million.

Christie’s also held a surreal art sale on Tuesday which
raised around 10.1 million pounds, within expectations of
8.2-11.7 million.

Rival auction house Sotheby’s holds its impressionist and
modern art sale in London on Wednesday.

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(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)

Picasso stars as Christie’s London sale hits target