Sotheby’s Two Highest Prices Achieved in London in Over Five Years

Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Sotheby’s Two Highest Prices Achieved in London in Over Five Years

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale Sees Two Highest Prices Achieved in London in Over Five Years

Sotheby’s Two Highest Prices Achieved in London in Over Five Years

PICASSO’S PIONEERING PORTRAIT SETS RECORD FOR ANY CUBIST WORK 
Highest Price For Any Work Sold In London in Over Five Years
£43.3m / $63.6m 

Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise (1909) 

Cubism is considered to be Pablo Picasso’s most important contribution to Modern art, and Femme assise comes from the series of canvases that revolutionised Picasso’s working methods and established his path to Cubism. One of Picasso’s greatest Cubist portraits,  Femme assise was painted in the summer of 1909 when Picasso travelled to his native Spain where he created a series of canvases based on the features of his lover Fernande Olivier, over a period described as ‘the most crucial and productive’ in the artist’s career. Last sold at auction in 1973 at Sotheby’s in London, Femme assise has remained in a private collection for over forty years, during which time it has featured in some of the most important international exhibitions of Picasso’s work.

Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise (1909). Courtesy Sotheby's

RECORD FOR A PORTRAIT BY MODIGLIANI (Following the record price of $170.4 million for a nude by Modigliani last year)
MODIGLIANI’S LOVING TRIBUTE TO HIS ETERNAL MUSE BRINGS £38.5m/ $56.6m
Among the most beautiful portraits Amedeo Modigliani painted his lover Jeanne Hébuterne – revealing a tender moment
in one of the greatest and most tragic love stories of art history

Amadeo Modigliani’s Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) (1919)

Painted as a loving tribute to the artist’s eternal muse, Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) reveals a tender moment between a pioneer in the world of modern art and his lover. One of the greatest portraits that Modigliani painted of her and the finest to come to the market in a decade, the painting provides a glimpse into one of the most poignant love stories in 20th-century art history. Jeanne met Modigliani in 1917, when she was a young art student, and for the next three years she was his constant companion and source of inspiration. Shortly after Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis Jeanne Hébuterne, inconsolable and reputedly heavily pregnant with the artist’s child, committed suicide by leaping from a window.

Amadeo Modigliani’s Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) (1919). Courtesy Sotheby's

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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