Pablo Picasso's Granddaughter Is Selling a Huge Part of Her Private Collection at Sotheby's
By Sarah Cascone
A number of Pablo Picasso artworks that remained in his studio for years will hit the auction block for the first time this year. His granddaughter, Marina Picasso, inherited the works when the artist died in 1973, and has held them close ever since.
The auction, titled "Picasso in Private: Works from the Collection of Marina Picasso" will take place February 5 at Sotheby's London, and carries a pre-sale estimate of £6.9 million–9.8 million ($10.5 million–14.8 million).
This past January, Marina, who had a contentious relationship with the late artist, announced plans to sell a group of seven of his artworks collectively worth $290 million, as well as "La California," the Cannes villa she had inherited from her grandfather. Marina had previously showcased some highlights from her collection in a non-selling exhibition at Sotheby's Paris in the spring of 2014.
"No one in my family ever managed to escape from the stranglehold of this genius," wrote the 65-year-old heiress about the fraught nature of her relationship with her famous relative in the 2001 book Picasso: My Grandfather.
In June, Marina offloaded a 126-lot collection of her grandfather's ceramics in a sold-out, or "white-glove" sale that brought in £12.3 million ($19.4 million) at Sotheby's London.
The upcoming auction will include more than 100 works on paper that span the entirety of the Spanish artist's career, and 70 ceramic and terracotta sculptures that date mainly from the late 1940s through the mid-1960s. One of her friends recently told Page Six that Marina's efforts to part ways with her collection "is about letting go of the past."
The auction house has yet to release the full list of works for sale, but has shared several expected highlights, including Woman with an Open Robe, a saucy 1955 ceramic painted jug, with a pre-sale estimate starting at £35,000 ($52,500). A 1962 drawing titled Visage de femme is expected to fetch £180,000–250,000 ($269,000–373,000).
There's even a photo of the artist with architect Jacques Couёlle, taken by David Douglas Duncan, which Picasso embellished with delightful colorful scribbles. The auction house expects it to sell for as much as £60,000 ($87,500).
"This wonderful collection presents an intimate view of the artist in his moments of creation, as though we are standing at Picasso's shoulder, able to observe his creative process as he reinvented himself as an artist over and over again," said Helena Newman, Sotheby's co-head of Impressionist & modern art worldwide, in a statement.
Highlights from the collection will be displayed January 13–17 at Sotheby's New York, and January 28–February 4 at Sotheby's London.