A painting by Picasso kept in the same private collection for more than three centuries, “Femme au Béret Mauve,” will be offered for auction in May during Bonhams‘ “Impressionist and Modern Art” sale. This portrait is one of the many paintings by the Spanish painter depicting one of his most famous muses, Marie-Thérèse Walter.
“Femme au Béret Mauve” was painted during the first months of 1937, when the Spanish War was in full swing. At that time, Pablo Picasso‘s personal life was torn between two women: Marie-Thérèse Walter, his mistress of the previous ten years and mother of his daughter Maya, and his new companion, Dora Maar, whom he had met the previous year.
The canvas to be sold by Bonhams is one of many representations of Marie-Thérèse Walter painted in Tremblay-sur-Mauldre, a village about 50 kilometres west of Paris where the artist had installed his mistress and their daughter, Maya. He often came to visit them on weekends.
“This bright, joyous portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter exudes stability and calm at a time when Picasso’s personal life was in turmoil and all of Europe was living under the shadow of impending war,” declared Molly Ott Ambler, Bonhams Senior Vice-President and Head of Impressionist, Modern, European and American art in America. “Family life with Marie-Thérèse and their daughter Maya represented a refuge of serenity and sensuality so wonderfully captured in this work.”
“Femme au Béret Mauve” appears on the market for the first time since 1984, when its owners bought it in a New York art gallery. It is estimated at between $10 million and $15 million. Another portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter from the same period, entitled “Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter)”, sold for 49.8 million pounds (US$69.4 million) at Sotheby’s in 2018.
Before going under the hammer on May 13, “Femme au Béret Mauve” will be exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, and Hong Kong, before arriving in Bonhams’ New York galleries.
This story was published in AFP Relaxnews.