Pablo Picasso - Arlequin, 1909
Arlequin, one of the most important works by Pablo Picasso to appear on the market over the last several years will be offered by Sotheby’s in New York on the evening of November 3, 2008
October 4, 2008 - Arlequin dates to 1909, a pivotal moment in the history of modern art; just two years after Picasso completed his watershed composition, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Modeled with luminous shades of jade, rose and amber, this spectacular portrait depicts a harlequin, one of the most poignant motifs in the artist’s oeuvre. For the last 50 years, this jewel of Picasso’s Cubist production has been a treasured possession of the Surrealist artist Enrico Donati, who died earlier this year at the age of 99. He purchased it in the 1940s directly from Daniel Henry Kahnweiler, the legendary dealer of Picasso and the Cubists. The painting, which is expected to bring over $30 million, has been consigned by Mr. Donati’s estate. It will be seen by the public for the first time in more than 45 years when it goes on view at Sotheby’s London beginning October 3, 2008.
“Sotheby’s has a distinguished relationship with the 20th century’s greatest master,” said Simon Shaw Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department in New York. “We have had the privilege of achieving the top two prices commanded by the artist at auction with the sales of Boy with a Pipe and Dora Maar au chat, both of which remain the top two auction prices for any work of art. The upcoming sale of Arlequin is part of that tradition of offering masterworks from nearly every period of Picasso’s career.”