Amsterdamse Kunst Academie

Picasso’s La Lecture sells for 30 million euro

Auction house Sotheby’s in London sold Tuesday evening a painting from Spanish master painter Pablo Picasso for almost double the estimated price. The painting called La Lecture  was estimated at a price of 18 million euro’s. At the end of the auction the highest bidder, who would likes remain anonymous, bought the painting for a staggering price of 30 million euro’s.

Picasso’s La Lecture
The sale of La Lecture brought the painting to Europe for the first time since it was painted in 1932. It is one of a series of defining works in the artist’s oeuvre in which he introduces his young lover Marie-Thérèse Walter as a recognisable figure. The couple’s relationship was kept a well-guarded secret for many years, both on account of the fact that Picasso was then still married (to Olga Khokhlova, a Russian-Ukrainian dancer he had met on tour with Diaghilev) and because of Marie-Thérèse’s age (she was just 17 at the time). Until the period in which this work was painted, Marie-Thérèse only ever appeared in Picasso’s works in code, her features often embedded in the background of his paintings. But by the end of 1931, Picasso could no longer repress the creative impulse that his lover inspired, and over Christmas and New Year 1931 and ‘32, Marie-Thérèse emerged, for the first time, in fully recognisable, languorous, form.

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