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11 masterworks by Pablo Picasso sell for $109M in Las Vegas

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Oct 24, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Eleven Pablo Picasso masterworks were auctioned off at the Bellagio hotel-casino Saturday evening.

Sotheby’s and MGM Resorts International hosted the special, white-glove auction where the masterworks sold for $109 million — exceeding the sale’s high estimate with all of the items sold.

Event representatives say the works sold showcased Pablo Picasso's entire career and the many media he explored across more than six decades of creative genius.

The auction was standing room only and led by Picasso’s Femme au béret rouge-orange, a 1938 portrait of the artist’s famed Muse Marie-Thérèse Walter. that sold for $40.5 Million.

Other items also sold on Saturday included:

  • One of two still lifes on offer, Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs from 1942 well exceeded its $15 million high estimates and sold for $16.6 million. The years between 1940-44, despite the destruction and hardship of World War II, resulted in one of Picasso’s richest periods of still life painting.

  • Showcasing the power and complexity that defines Picasso’s late work, Homme et enfant sold for $24.4 million. Standing at nearly two meters tall, the 1959 work is a hugely impressive example of the artist’s achievements during a very important stage in his career.

  • La Fenêtre de l’atelier La Californie, a work painted on ceramic tile capturing a scene from Picasso’s studio at his home in Cannes overlooking the sea, opened the sale with tremendous energy and drama, as more than 20 bids drove the work’s final price to $214,200--nearly four times the low estimate.

  • Attracting 18 bids, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe from 1962 achieved $2.1 million, more than four times its $500,000 high estimate. It is the only ceramic produced of this highly influential and important subject matter, molded from the original printing plate for the artist’s series of prints executed in 1962 of Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, d'après Manet, I.

The group of works by Picasso were offered from the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection and previously on view at Bellagio’s celebrated Picasso restaurant. The sale comes as MGM Resorts says it is reshaping its public fine art portfolio, deepening its focus on diversity and inclusion.

The auction also marked the largest and most significant fine art sale to ever take place in Las Vegas, according to organizers, as well as the first time that Sotheby’s has ever staged an Evening Sale in North America outside its storied New York saleroom.