‘Woman in a Turkish costume’ on sale after 55

‘Woman in a Turkish costume’ on sale after 55

LONDON - Reuters
‘Woman in a Turkish costume’ on sale after 55

The artwork is expected to fetch US $24.6-32.9 million when it goes under the hammer at Christie's impressionist and modern art evening sale in London on February 4. REUTERS Photo

A Picasso portrait of his lover and eventual wife Jacqueline Roque and a canvas by Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte are among the star attractions of February auctions that Christie’s has said could net almost $380 million.

Christie’s estimated that those works and others to be sold in four auctions on Feb. 4 and 5 and a fifth on Feb. 7 in London could raise between 156.7 million and 228.3 million pounds ($260 million-$376 million).

The Picasso, entitled “Femme au costume turc dans un fauteuil” (Woman in a Turkish costume seated in a chair), 1955, is valued at 15-20 million pounds and is on sale for the first time in 55 years, Christie’s has said in a press release.

The painting is one of a small group of portraits by Pablo Picasso showing Roque in the costume of an “odalisque”, a woman of the harem. It is “a colorful, sexually charged celebration of Jacqueline, whom Picasso would marry six years later and who would become one of the most important muses of the artist’s life”, the release said.

Magritte’s “Les chasseurs au bord de la nuit” (The hunters at the edge of night), 1928, was part of an exhibition of the painter’s works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has an estimated value of 6-9 million pounds, Christie’s said.

The Picasso is the centerpiece of an Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Auction on Feb. 4 while the Magritte is in The Art of The Surreal Auction on the same day.

Other works in the sale include works by Alberto Giacometti, Fernand Léger and Claude Monet.