Christie's has planned a November sensation

P. Picasso. Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto. 1903. Oil on canvas. 69.5 И 55.0

Last week the fact that Cristie’s has been planning a sensation for the next autumn season came to light. «Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto» (1903) by Pablo Picasso will be exposed in New York on November 8. According to the specialists, the painting is expected to fetch $40,000,000-60,000,000. Picasso’s canvas has a good chance to enter the top ten of the most expensive pictures in the world sold by auction.

«Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto» goes back to the Blue Period of Picasso’s oeuvre. It is a one of the most famous artist’s work of the period. From 1946 till 1995 the picture was in the New York collection of Donald and Jean Stralem. In the present time the portrait is put up for sale by his owner Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer famous by his rock-opera «Jesus Christ – Superstar» and musicals «Evita», «Cats», and «Ghost of the Opera».

Webber acquired the picture for $29,100,000 (November auction in New York,1995) . Eleven years later the price became twice higher. Interestingly, Webber is planning to put for charity purposes money realised by the canvas.

Christie’s vice-president and the head of Impressionism and Modern Art Department Guy Bennett doesn’t conceal the agitation caused by the coming auction. De Soto was a close friend of the artist. He died in 1938 at the Spanish Civil War. Mr Bennett marks that the dramatic friend relations of the artist and his hero make the portrait one of the most prominent works by Picasso.

Picasso met Angel de Soto in 1899 in a cafe «Els Quatre Gats» in Barcelona where the Bohemians commonly occurrences. The two men soon became friends. Ladies’ favourite and child of fortune, de Soto became a perfect Picasso’s companion. In 1902-1903 they shared the same studio, but the agreement was soon dissolved by Soto’s weakness for night junkets. As for Picasso, he preferred to work at nights.

Besides, Christie’s more than once successfully sold Picasso’s works. Pablo Picasso’s canvas «The Rest» («Le Repos») was hammered at $34,736,000 on May 1 in New York at the Impressionist and Modern Art Auction. In this picture (1932) he impressed his wife Olga Khohlova, a Russian ballet dancer. His picture «Portrait of Germaine» («Portrait de Germaine») from Distinguished New York Collection was sold for $18,608,000. Estimated forks for the works were $15,000,000–20,000,000 and $12,000 000–18,000,000 correspondingly. Both pictures were purchased by the art galleries (Larry Gagosian Gallery and Acquavella Galleries).

This is the top list of Picasso’s Blue Period works sold by Christie’s:
1.«Woman with Crossed Hands» («Femme aux bras croisés»). 1901-1902. The lot was sold for $55,006,000. New York. November 8, 2000. This is the world record for Picasso’s Blue Period works.
2. «Motherhood» («Maternité»). 1901. The lot was sold for $24,750,000. New York. November 14, 1988.
3. «Portrait of Germaine» («Portrait de Germaine»). 1901. The lot was sold for $18,608,000. New York. May 1, 2006.

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Published in: on July 4, 2006 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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