BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 7 February, 2001, 13:27 GMT
Picasso's muse fetches 3m
Buste de Femme
Dora Maar was Picasso's muse and mistress
Pablo Picasso's portrait of his mistress Dora Maar has sold for more than 3m - some 1m over the expected price.

The painting called Buste de Femme - signed and dated April 1942 - was the top lot in a sale of Impressionists and Modern Art works at Christie's auction house in London.

The Picasso was given up for auction by a private Swiss collector and purchased by an anonymous buyer for 3,083,750.

Bonnard's Dahlias
Bonnard's Dahlias was also in the sale
Buste de Femme was one of seven Picasso's in the sale and one of three depicting one of the artist's famous muses.

Christie's called Buste de Femme an "intense psychological portrait". It is one of a series of pictures of Dora Maar painted by Picasso and which are considered among the finest of his overall output.

Other lots in the sale, which continues until 8 February, include paintings by Bonnard, Gaughin and Caillebotte.


Maar was an established artist herself and over a period of nine years she was Picasso's lover, companion and muse.

Buste de Femme was painted in Paris during the third year of the city's occupation by the Germans.

Monet's Bassin aux Nymphaes
Monet's Bassin aux Nymphaes sold for 5.2m
The expression on Maar's face is said by art critics to depict the pain of war.

In 1944, Picasso told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I have no doubt that the war is in these paintings that I have done."

The price paid for Buste de Femme follows the 5.2m fetched by a Monet painting at Sotheby's in London on Monday.

Le Bassin aux Nymphaes, which depicts the lily pond in the artist's garden at Giverny, was bought by a secret bidder.

A Sotheby's spokeswoman said: "We're very pleased with the price.

"The painting was bought over the phone by a private bidder and there was a lot of bidding, which lasted for around four minutes."

The record price for a Monet painting was broken in 1998 when the Waterlily Pond and Path by Water painting fetched 19.8m at Sotheby's.

See also:

02 Jan 01 | Europe
Art thieves demand ransom
20 Nov 98 | Your Money
Art back in fashion
09 Nov 99 | Americas
Monet waterlilies fetch $22.5m
19 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Monet show leaves big impression
09 Nov 00 | Americas
Auction record for Picasso
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories