British Queen celebrates

Pablo Picasso's renowned painting, "Woman with a Watch," fetched an impressive $139.3 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York, marking the second-highest price ever achieved for the

iconic artist. Created in 1932, the masterpiece depicts Marie-Thérèse Walter, one of Picasso's companions and muses. Initially valued at over $120 million, the artwork was part of the special sale featuring the collection of arts patron Emily Fisher Landau, who passed away at 102.

Julian Dawes, Sotheby's head of impressionist and modern art, described the painting as a "masterpiece by every measure," highlighting its creation during Picasso's extraordinary year, "annus mirabilis," in 1932. The canvas exudes a blend of joyful abandon and thoughtful resolution. Marie-Thérèse Walter, often considered Picasso's "golden muse," also appears in another work, "Femme endormie," estimated to sell for $25-$35 million at Christie's.

Walter, Picasso's muse since their meeting in 1927, played a significant role in his artistic journey. Another piece featuring Walter, "Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)," was sold in 2021 for $103.4 million. Picasso's influence endures, evident in the current market, with auction houses projecting substantial sales. Sotheby's aims to achieve approximately $400 million in sales from Landau's collection, including works by Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol.

Despite Picasso's lasting impact on the art world, his legacy has faced challenges due to allegations arising from the #MeToo movement, suggesting a violent hold over the women who influenced his art. However, the art market continues to thrive, fueled by global demand, particularly from China. Sotheby's and Christie's, industry leaders, anticipate significant sales in their autumn auctions, albeit potentially challenging to surpass the record-breaking $16 billion in total sales from the previous year, considering geopolitical uncertainties and economic factors. Photo by Antilock at English Wikipedia.