Update – Pablo Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) realized $179,365,000 achieving a world auction record for any work of art during the Looking Forward to the Past Evening Sale in New York on 11 May 2015.
‘To me there is no past or future in my art,’ said Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. The Spanish artist’s work speaks the rest and now his Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) is all set to shatter records as it has returned to the auction block after 18 years. Christie’s Looking Forward to the Past sale scheduled on 11 May in New York will feature Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger which exhibits as much freshness of perspective and approach as it did when it was painted. Estimated to go under the hammer for $140 million, this majestic, vibrantly-hued painting is the final and most highly finished work from Picasso’s 1954-55 Femmes d’Alger series. For this, he looked back to 19th century French master Eugene Delacroix for inspiration, and in the process created a new style of painting.
Video Update – Auction of Pablo Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)on May 11, 2015.
Les femmes d’Alger, (Version “O”) depicts women in a harem and is the final work in a 15-painting series which Picasso started after Matisse’s death, in homage to his lost friend and competitor. After spending two months working on the project, which involved 100 studies on paper and 14 other paintings, the canvas with portrait of nude courtesans was completed in February 1955. The painting was unveiled as part of a preview at Christie’s in Hong Kong ahead of the New York sale and it will also go on show in London later this month. Christie’s page lists the details of Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) – signed ‘Picasso’ (upper right); dated ‘14.2.55.’ (on the reverse); oil on canvas; 44 7/8 x 57 5/8 in. (114 x 146.4 cm.); Painted on 14 February 1955.
Also check the video of auction results of Pablo Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”), November 1997 –
Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger,” (“The women of Algiers”) was last sold for $31.9 million in 1997 at an auction.
Over the years, Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) has been featured prominently in major Picasso retrospectives all over the world, including at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1957 and 1980, The National Gallery in London in 1960, the Grand Palais, Paris in 1966-1967, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1968, and more recently at the survey Picasso et les Maîtres at the Louvre in 2008-2009, as well as at Picasso: Challenging the Past, at London’s National Gallery in 2009, and Picasso & Modern British Art at the Tate Britain in 2012.