Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 13:15 UK

Picasso child work up for auction

Picasso's portrait of his daughter Maya
Maya is one of the four children from Picasso's complex personal life

A portrait by Picasso of his daughter Maya has gone on display in London for the first time.

Picasso's daughter by his mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, is shown at the age of two-and-a-half clasping her favourite toy, a boat.

Picasso kept the 1938 work his whole life and the piece has been in private hands since his death in 1973.

The portrait will be auctioned in New York on 5 May with price predictions reaching $24m (£16.5m).


The work, entitled La fille de l'artiste a deux ans et demi avec un bateau, was left to a grand daughter after the artist's death.

Maya, who is still alive, is the second of Picasso's four children by three women. At the time of her birth, Picasso was still married to Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova.

Sotheby's spokesperson Emmanuel Di-Donna said: "This life-affirming portrait reflects the great joy that Maya brought into the artist's life, even on the eve of the Second World War."

In contrast, a tapestry of Picasso's piece Guernica, recently went on display at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Painted a year before his portrait of Maya, the depiction of the German bombing of a small village during the Spanish Civil War shows the full horror of war.

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