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Woman with a Watch: Picasso’s ‘Golden Muse’ Masterpiece Sold for £113 Million

A 1932 Pablo Picasso masterpiece has sold for $139 million (£113 million), the second highest price ever for the artist, according to Sotheby’s.

Femme à la Montre also becomes the most valuable work sold at auction this year.

It depicts Marie-Thérèse Walter, the French model who was also a lover of the Spanish artist and the subject of several of his paintings.

The work was valued at $120 million before being put up for auction.

It was previously owned by art collector Emily Fisher Landau, who purchased it in 1968, and was acquired by an anonymous buyer.

Woman with a Watch is a portrait of Walter seated on a throne-shaped chair on a blue background.

Known as Picasso’s “golden muse”, Walter was 17 when she met Picasso, 45, in Paris, and the couple later struck up a secret relationship while he was still married to Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina Ukrainian.

Walter became the subject of many of Picasso’s paintings, including the 1932 work Femme Nue Couchee (Reclining Nude Woman), which sold for $67.5 million at auction in 2022.

The most expensive Picasso painting sold at auction was Women of Algiers, which sold for $179.3 million at Christie’s in 2015.

Born in Malaga in 1881 and raised in Barcelona, ​​Picasso moved to Paris in 1904 and became one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

He experimented with a wide range of styles and themes during his career, including “cubism”, which shows objects or people from multiple angles at the same time.

Over a career spanning eight decades, he created approximately 150,000 pieces.

He had four children and died in the south of France in 1973, aged 92.

Although his creative legacy has never been in doubt, recent years have been marked by questions about his behavior. He was accused of cruelty, feminization and coercive behavior.

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