Pablo Picasso’s ‘Nature morte à la fenêtre’ Takes Centre Stage

Christie’s auction house has revealed that Pablo Picasso’s Nature Morte à la fenêtre will be the top lot at the upcoming 20th Century Evening Sale on May 11, 2023.

The auction will be held during the Spring Marquee Week of sales. This significant painting from 1932 portrays the artist’s golden muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, and is estimated to fetch around $40,000,000.

The artwork is one of the most celebrated pieces from Picasso’s illustrious career, and it will be the first time that it is up for auction. The Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Vanessa Fusco, and Co-Head of Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale commented on the painting’s significance, stating that Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life reinvigorated every area of his work.

Her radiant beauty, statuesque form, and carefree sensibility inspired the artist to create some of his finest works.

Created at the beginning of Picasso’s “annus mirabilis,” Nature morte à la fenêtre is a testament to Marie-Thérèse’s influence and the great flourishing of activity she inspired in his art, from drawing to sculpture, printmaking to painting.

Giovanna Bertazzoni, the Vice Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art, expressed her excitement about showcasing this masterpiece at Christie’s New York as they celebrate Picasso’s contribution to the history of art and legacy this year, which marks the 50th anniversary of his death.

Pablo Picasso's 'Nature morte à la fenêtre' Takes Centre Stage
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
Nature morte à la fenêtre
oil on canvas 51 x 63  in. (129.7 x 162.3 cm.)
Painted on 18 January 1932
Estimate on request 

Painted in January 1932, Nature morte à la fenêtre is part of an exceptional series of paintings devoted to Marie-Thérèse, which includes works such as Le Rêve, Jeune fille devant un miroir, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, and Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse).

This series was inspired by the forms of Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose classical profile, curves, and cropped hair came to dominate every aspect of Picasso’s output in the early 1930s.

The painting is among the first in this exceptional series and represents a highly significant moment within the story of Picasso’s “annus mirabilis.” Shortly after its completion, Nature morte à la fenêtre was shown in a renowned Picasso retrospective at the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris in the summer of 1932, where it hung prominently in the gallery’s Grande Salle, directly above Le Rêve.

It then travelled to the Kunsthaus Zürich for Picasso’s inaugural museum show later that year. The painting remained in the artist’s personal collection until the 1980s, hidden from public view.

In conclusion, the sale of Nature Morte à la fenêtre is an exciting opportunity for art collectors and enthusiasts to acquire a piece of art history. This significant painting, part of a series of works that depict Picasso’s golden muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, is an exceptional piece that represents a highly significant moment within the story of Picasso’s so-called “annus mirabilis.”

It will be fascinating to see how much this masterpiece fetches at the upcoming auction and the legacy it will continue to hold in the art world.

Images: Christie’s