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    Picasso Jeune fille endormie. (Click on image to enlarge)

    An important and rarely-seen masterpiece by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Jeune fille endormie made £13,481,250 at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on June 21.

    The intimate portrait of the artist’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter,  subject of many of Picasso’s most celebrated pictures, had been expected to realize £9 million to £12 million.

    Having resided in just two private collections since it was painted, Jeune fille endormie was given to the University of Sydney in 2010 by an anonymous donor on condition that it would be sold and that the University would dedicate the proceeds to scientific research. It was acquired by an anonymous bidder.

    The auction brought in £140,019,200 and sold  87% by lot and 80% by value. This is the third highest total for the category at Christie’s in London. Buyers were 54% from Europe, 42% from the Americas and 4% from Asia.

    The top three prices were paid for portraits of three different lovers of Picasso, led by Femme assise, robe bleue, a portrait of Dora Maar, which made £17,961,250 over a top estimate of  £8 million. Buste de Françoise, a 1946 portrait of  Picasso’s lover Françoise Gilot made £10,681,250.

    See post for April 27.

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