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Pablo Picasso’s La Lecture sells for £25.2 million

lect£25.2 million was the going price, in London at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale, for Pablo Picasso’s La Lecture, his portrait of the teenage mistress the legendary artist kept. That is more than twice the expected price that some unnamed bidder paid.

This 1932 painting was of Marie-Therese Walter sleeping in an armchair. She was only 17 years old. Marie was the subject, as well, of other of Picasso’s paintings, including Green Leaves, Bust, and Nude. Bust busted the world’s record in New York in May 2010, being sold at £69.8million.

Picasso had been married at the time to Olga Khokhlova, the Ukrainian dancer. This was only half the reason the affair was kept under hat for so long. The other was her age.

Chair of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Europe, Helena Newman, explained, “Picasso’s La Lecture going for this price has made us very glad, you can imagine. After all, it is an amazing piece from Picasso’s most glorious period work.”

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