One of Pablo Picasso’s most iconic artworks, “Femme à la Montre” (Woman with a Watch), painted in 1932, is set to go under the hammer at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. This masterpiece is estimated to fetch a staggering $120 million, making it one of the most anticipated art events of the year.
The painting features Marie-Thérèse Walter, one of Picasso’s most significant muses and his secret lover. “Femme à la Montre” is a testament to Picasso’s infatuation with Walter, showcasing her in a dreamlike, sensual form. The artwork was created during 1932, which art historians often refer to as Picasso’s “annus mirabilis,” or miraculous year, as he produced an extraordinary body of work during this time.
The history behind this remarkable piece is fascinating. It was once part of the extensive art collection amassed by Emily Fisher Landau, one of the most prominent private art collectors. Fisher Landau decided to invest her insurance payout after thieves robbed her of a stunning collection of jewelry in 1969. With the funds, she transitioned to collecting art, acquiring works from renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and others.
“La femme avec la montagne” has been a cornerstone of Fisher Landau’s collection since she purchased it in 1968. It adorned the fireplace of her New York home for over five decades. Now, this masterpiece will take center stage at the Sotheby’s auction in November.
The upcoming auction will feature 120 works from Emily Fisher Landau’s impressive collection, and it is expected to raise a total of $400 million. Born in 1920, Emily Fisher Landau was not only a significant art collector but also a patron and friend to many contemporary American artists. In 2010, she generously donated over 400 artworks to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, solidifying her legacy as a passionate supporter of the arts.