Spanish artist Pablo Picasso's 1932 portrait of his mistress and muse Marie Therese will go under the hammer at Sotheby's "Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale" in London on June 19.
Painted during Picasso's "year of wonders", "Buste de femme de profil. Femme ecrivant", a monumental painting of Marie Therese will be unveiled in public for the first time in two decades.
The estimated price of the artwork is "in the region of $45 million" (Rs. 30.2 crores approx).
In the painting, his muse, who he first met in 1927 as a girl of seventeen, "awake or asleep, writing or reading, appears in manifold guises throughout Picasso's oeuvre", evoking a private moment from what became a decade-long affair between the two.
Marie Therese's unmistakable profile and sweep of blonde hair are silhouetted in front of a window at the Chateau de Boisgeloup, the grand house outside of Paris acquired by Picasso in 1930.
Her sensual curves are echoed by the diffused green light emanating from the gardens beyond the window the deliberate juxtaposition of the horizontals and verticals of the window frame.
"This tender and romantic vision of Marie Therese is a remarkably intimate portrait of the woman who has come to embody the heart and soul of the most celebrated year of Picasso's oeuvre," said Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Department and Chairman of Sotheby's Europe.
The work's palette is characteristic of Picasso's key depictions of Marie during this year.
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