Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 16:49 UK

Picasso painting found in bedroom

Entreite by Picasso
The painting by Picasso is expected to fetch 100,000 at auction

An early painting by Picasso showing the artist in a naked clinch with a girlfriend has been found lying in a bedroom, an auction house has said.

The watercolour was found propped up against a wall in a West Country home, and will go under the hammer at Duke's auction house in Dorchester, Dorset.

It was found alongside two equine paintings by British painters George Stubbs and Alfred Munnings.

Each piece is expected to fetch at least 100,000.

Guy Schwinge, from the auction house, said: "It was a breathtaking find to discover these paintings that were stacked against the wall of a house.

"To find just one of these works would have been incredible - but to find three was quite exceptional.

"Of course, everybody has heard of Picasso and this is an early work thought to be of him in a naked clinch with his girlfriend Odette."

The piece, called Etreinte, is thought to have been painted in 1901 or 1902 when Picasso was a struggling artist in his early 20s.

It shows him and his lover Louise Lenoir, known as Odette, who is thought to have been his first girlfriend, in Paris.

The three paintings, from an anonymous seller, will go under the hammer on 10 April.


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