|Painted on March 8, 1932|
Sunday, March 8, 2015
SUNDAY REVIEW / THE DAY OF THE $106 MILLION OIL PAINTING
IF THE PAINTING COULD TALK--The 5’ x 4’ painting above, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso was reportedly painted on this day in 1932. It is widely known the nude in the painting is Picasso’s mistress Marie-Therese Walter, whom he met as a 17-year-old French model in 1927.
The oil’s present owner is known only to a few at Christie’s, the famed auction house. The painting currently resides on long term loan to the Tate Modern gallery in London.
Aside from it being painted by Picasso, one remarkable fact is the nearly $107 million that an anonymous buyer paid for it at auction earlier this decade. That sum is among the highest ever paid for a painting anywhere in the world.
The colorful painting remained in the collection of Sidney and Frances Brody since they purchased it in 1951. When Frances died in late 2009 (after Sidney had died years earlier), the painting auctioned. During the Brody ownership, the painting was seen only once by the public and that was at a special showing in honor of Picasso’s 80th birthday.
As for Marie-Therese, she bore the artist a daughter. He supported both financially after he ended their relationship. He never married Marie-Therese because he chose not to divorce his first wife, ballerina Olga Khokhlova.
In 1935, Olga left the marriage never to return--taking son Paulo with her after she discovered the affair with Marie-Therese. For financial reasons, the couple remained legally married until Olga died in 1955 of natural causes.
Picasso died in 1975.
Marie-Therese committed suicide in 1977.
The painting lives on.