A painting by legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), has sold for $103.4 million at an auction in New York, nearly twice the expected estimate. ‘Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese)’, painted in 1932, was sold at Christie’s after 20 minutes of bidding. The painting depicts his young mistress and muse, Marie-Therese Walter. This is the fifth time that a painting by Picasso has sold for more than $100 million.
Picasso’s ‘African Period’
Between 1906 and 1909, Picasso adopted a painting style known as his ‘African Period’ because it was strongly influenced by African sculpture, particularly traditional African masks together with the art of ancient Egypt.
Africa’s Top 10 Highest-Selling Artists
1. South African artist Marlene Dumas’s work The Visitor (1995) sold for $6.3 million at Sotheby’s London in 2008.
2. Julie Mehretu was born in Ethiopia but now lives in New York. Her abstract painting Black Ground (Deep Light) (2006) sold for $5.6 million, at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2019.
3. South African artist, Irma Stern’s (1894 – 1966) Arab Priest (1945), sold for just over £3 million ($4.5 million) at Bonhams London in 2011.
4. Nigerian Njideka Akunyili Crosby, still only 30 years old, saw her work Bush Babies (2017) sell for $3.4 million at Sotheby’s New York.
5. Egyptian artist Mahmoud Said (1897-1964) painted Les Chadoufs in 1934. It sold for $2.4 million at Christie’s in the United Arab Emirates in 2010.
6. An oil on canvass entitled Tutu by Nigerian Ben Enwonwu (1921 – 1994) went on sale in 2018 having been lost for decdes. It’s rarity helped the painting sell for $1.6m at Bonhams, London.
7. South African artist William Kentridge’s artwork Procession (2000), a 25-piece bronze sculpture reached a price of $1.5 million at Sotheby’s New York in 2010.
8. El Anatsui is one of Ghana’s most famous artists. In 2018, his Recycled Dreams (Uniting the World with a Stitch) (2005), made $1.5 million at Christie’s New York.
9. Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886 – 1857) was a South African landscape artist. His Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch (1928), sold for $1.4 million at Strauss & Co., South Africa, in 2017.
10. Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (1925 – 1965) is regarded as one of the most influential members of the Egyptian modern art movement. His work, The Construction of the Suez Canal, sold for $1 million at a Christie’s auction in Dubai in 2014.