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Picasso’s Masterpiece Begins Pre-Auction Dubai Tour

Picasso’s $120 million masterpiece previewed in Dubai before auction.

The 1932 painting of Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s mistress and ‘golden muse,’ is on display for two days in the United Arab Emirates before traveling to Hong Kong and London. This is beneficial for the country’s efforts to position itself as a global cultural powerhouse.

In a statement, Sotheby’s Dubai noted that the viewing “marks the first time a painting of this calibre by the world-renowned artist has ever been exhibited in the UAE” and that it is the first time the portrait has been exhibited outside of the US in fifty years.

A visitor looks at Pablo Picasso’s painting ‘Femme à la montre’ displayed for viewing at Sotheby’s Dubai on September 25, 2023. The painting, which can be viewed in Dubai on September 25 and 26. Photo: AFP

According to Khaleej Times, the portrait is the most expensive picture ever brought to the Middle East by an auction company. Dozens of people had gathered at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) to examine it within hours of it being made available for public viewing.

The ‘Femme a la montre’ artwork will be offered for sale in November as part of a two-day auction of the illustrious collection owned by the late New Yorker Emily Fisher Landau.

Before it moves to Hong Kong and London, the painting will be on display to the public at the DIFC on Tuesday, September 26, from 10 am to 7 pm. After that, it will travel back to New York, Khaleej Times said.

In 1927, when Walter was 17 years old and Picasso was still married to Russian-Ukrainian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova, the two men met in Paris.

‘Femme assise pres d’une fenetre (Marie-Therese),’ which Christie’s auction house sold in 2021 for $103.4 million, also included Walter, whose daughter with Picasso passed away last year.

Picasso is still regarded as one of the most important artists of the modern era fifty years after passing away in 1973 at the age of 91. He is frequently lauded as a dynamic and creative genius.

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