A painting by Pablo Picasso has set a new world record for the most expensive artwork to be sold at auction after reaching $179m in New York. The Picasso’s purchase price bests a $142 million record set in 2013 for a Francis Bacon triptych.
Les femmes d’Alger (Version O) had long been considered the most important of the Spaniard's paintings to remain in private hands. It was part of Picasso's series of 15 artworks created in 1954 and 1955 reflecting his passion for the work of 19th-century French artist Eugene Delacroix. The vibrant, multi-hued painting by Pablo Picasso was painted as an elegy to his friend and rival Henri Matisse and was sold after more than 11 minutes of furious bidding from telephone buyers at a packed auction room at Christie's.
The painting was last sold at auction in 1997 for $31.9 million. The famed collector Victor Ganz had bought the piece—along with the 14 other works in the same series—for roughly $212,000 in in 1956.
"Women of Algiers (Version O)" was part of a sale at Christie's auction house that also featured Alberto Giacometti's life-size sculpture "Pointing Man," which was poised to set a record as the most expensive sculpture sold at auction. The 1947 bronze sculpture "L'homme au doigt" (Pointing Man) had an estimate of $130 million and it too, broke records for a sculpture sold at auction, selling for $141,285,000. They were among two dozen masterpieces from the 20th century Christie's offered in a curated sale titled "Looking Forward to the Past."
..... Devashree Goenka