The extraordinarily rare portrait, a 1932 masterpiece by Pablo Picasso, recently put on display at Sotheby’s in Dubai, has garnered substantial interest, and experts believe that some of the bids for this artwork may originate from the UAE. Titled ‘Femme à la Montre,’ the portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter is projected to command a price of at least $120 million (approximately Dh440 million).
“The UAE has emerged as a significant hub for art enthusiasts and collectors,” noted Melica Khansari, Head of Communications at Sotheby’s Middle East. “Therefore, we anticipate that bids for the painting could come from individuals residing in the country.” This exceedingly rare portrait marks the highest-valued painting ever introduced to the Middle East by an auction house.
As soon as it was unveiled for public viewing at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the painting, ‘Femme à la Montre,’ attracted scores of visitors, ranging from children to devoted art connoisseurs. Many spent time admiring the artwork and capturing photos with it.
The painting was previously owned by art collector Emily Fisher Landau, who acquired it in 1968 for $300,000. Until her passing in 2022, it adorned her living room mantlepiece. Now, a collection of over 120 remarkable pieces that she amassed, estimated to exceed $400 million in value, will be presented for sale at Sotheby’s New York through two dedicated auctions.