Just two days prior to famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s 140th birthday on October 25, eleven of his paintings and other works were auctioned for more than 100 million dollars at Las Vegas on 23rd Oct, Saturday.
The works that were on display for years were part of the Sotheby’s auction held at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.
Out of these paintings, five were hung on the walls of the fine dining restaurant while the restaurant still continues to display other 12 Picasso works.
11 Picasso Paintings Sold in Auction For Over $100 Million at Las Vegas on Saturday
Typically Sotheby’s auctions are held in cities like New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Hong Kong. However, the Saturday evening event was the first major event in the city of Las Vegas, best known for the Casino and world-class entertainment.
“Femme Aubert rouge-orange”, 1938 painting of Picasso’s lover and muse Marie-Therese Walter was successful in fetching the highest price at the auction at whopping $40.5 million that was more than $10 million over the pre-sale estimate.
The other large-scale Picasso painting “Homme et Enfant” and “Buste d’homme” were auctioned at $24.4 million and $9.5 million respectively.
#AuctionUpdate Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs from 1942 brings $16.6 million. Despite the destruction and hardship of World War II, the years between 1940-44 resulted in one of Picasso’s richest periods of still life painting #SothebysxMGM pic.twitter.com/THzgh2r9jS
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) October 24, 2021
Meanwhile, his small works like “Le Dejeuner Sur l’herbe” were sold for $2.1 million that was also 300% to 400% more than their pre-sale estimate. The details of buyers of these paintings were not disclosed.
Sotheby’s chairman and head of sales for global fine art, Brooke Lampley, said, “As one of the most famous, beloved, and accomplished artists of all time, we couldn’t imagine anyone better than Picasso to inaugurate this unique art and culture experience.”
The MGM Resorts Fine Arts Collection has more than 900 works by 200 different artists from all across the world that even includes modern art pieces by Bob Dylan and David Hockney.
The tradition began more than 20 years ago by Casino Mogul, Steve Wynn, former owner of the Bellagio and former chief executive of Wynn Resorts that sold Mirage resorts to MGM resorts property.
Tarissa Tiberti, executive director of arts and culture at MGM Resorts, said, “I’ve been so used to seeing them in the restaurant, it really changes the dynamic of the work to see them here inside the gallery. It’s interesting and fun to see them in this setting. It’s been incredible that the Bellagio has had them on display for over 20 years to be viewed by the public”.
The sale by casino and hotel group MGM Resorts was done to diversify its huge collection of arts to include more arts from all across the world cutting across caste, creed, race, and also from LGBTQ artists and artists with disabilities.
— MGM Resorts (@MGMResortsIntl) October 23, 2021
In the context of widespread incidents in 2020 over racism that was seen in US society, many American museums and art galleries have been trying hard to expand their collections to include artworks from all sections of society.
In his 70+ years of a long career as a working artist, it is believed that Picasso has created more than 13,000 paintings.