Presenting Picasso: Most Expensive Painting Ever Sold at Auction Goes on Public View

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The elusive and very expensive “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” is on display in London for the first time in 60 years. Let’s hope it’s under more than lock and key.

The painting by Pablo Picasso sold last year for $106.5 million at Christie’s in New York. The record-breaking sale made it the most expensive piece of art sold at auction, beating the previous holder, “Walking Man 1” by Giacometti, which fetched $104.3 million.

Although $106.5 million is a heck of a lot, it’s still not enough to beat the $135 million reportedly paid for a portrait by Klimt, which is the highest sum ever paid for a painting. The 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was bought by Ronald S.Lauder in 2006.

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“Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” was completed in 1932 by the famous Spanish painter and has not been seen publicly for 50 years (it was last shown in 1961 to celebrate Picasso’s 80th birthday).

Before its record-breaking sale to an anonymous buyer in May of last year, it was housed in the collection of the Los Angeles art patrons Frances and Sidney Brody. The pair had bought the painting in 1951 from Paul Rosenbeg & Co, who acquired the painting from the artist himself in 1936.

The record-breaking piece netted Christie’s $335.5 million (once buyer’s premium and all the other bits and bobs associated with top end auctions were included) and has since been lent to the Tate galleries.

“Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is one of the sequence of paintings of Picasso’s muse, Marie-Therese Walter, made by the artist at Boisegeloup, Normandy, in the early months of 1932,” said the director of Tate Modern, Nicholas Serota. “They are widely regarded as amongst his greatest acheievements of the inter-war period.”

As of Monday it is on display in the new Pablo Picasso room in the imposing Tate Modern on London’s South Bank. (Via Reuters)

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