Depicting Marie-Thérèse Walter, the artist’s muse and the subject of many of his most accomplished portraits, it dates from 1932, a year of such importance that an entire museum exhibition was dedicated to it (Tate Modern & Musée Picasso Paris 2018). Image Credit: Instagram/Sotheby's

Dubai: Renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, “Femme à la Montre” (Woman with Watch), will be showcased at Sotheby’s Dubai on September 25 and 26, the auction house announced Monday.

This marks the artwork’s first solo exhibition outside the United States in over five decades. The Picasso masterpiece was painted in 1932 and is estimated at over $120 million.

Katia Nounou Boueiz, Head of Sotheby’s UAE, said, “It is a true privilege to have a masterpiece of this significance, by one of the world’s most well-known and well-loved artists, unveiled in the UAE as the first stop on its world tour.”

Katia added, “One of the greatest works of modern art we have ever brought to auction, it is the perfect artwork to showcase and continue our commitment to bringing the best of art and culture to the region.”

From Emily Landau’s collection

The painting belonged to renowned philanthropist and patron of the arts, Emily Fisher Landau, who bought the painting in 1968. Emily’s collection includes nearly 120 works, including pieces by esteemed artists such as Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol. She died in March this year at age 102.

Her collection, estimated to bring over $400 million, will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s New York in two dedicated auctions on November 8 and 9, expected to be a historic moment for the art market.

Sotheby’s Dubai

In 2020, Sotheby’s Dubai exhibited a painting by Botticelli, estimated at more than $80 million. It made headlines as the highest-value painting ever brought to the Middle East by an auction house. “Since then, we have exhibited some wonderful works by Boetti, Kandinsky, Warhol and more. The appearance of this Picasso on our walls in Dubai will now overtake the record set by Botticelli and also marks the first time a painting of this caliber by the artist has ever been exhibited anywhere in the UAE,” added Katia.

No other 1932 Picasso of similar importance has appeared on the auction market since 2010, when Nude, Green Leaves and Bust from the estate of Sidney F Brody established a new record price for any work of art ever sold at auction. The record for an artwork by Picasso at auction was set in 2015 at $179 million.