Picasso's Seated Woman In Blue Dress sells for S$63m at New York auction

The portrait inspired by Picasso's lover and muse Dora Maar was auctioned at Christie's on Monday.
The portrait inspired by Picasso's lover and muse Dora Maar was auctioned at Christie's on Monday.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - One of Pablo Picasso's best-known portraits has been sold at an auction in New York for US$45 million (S$63 million), the BBC reported on Tuesday (May 16).

The portrait inspired by Picasso's lover and muse Dora Maar was auctioned at Christie's on Monday.

Seated Woman In Blue Dress, which was painted on Oct 25, 1939, Picasso's 58th birthday, shows Maar in a purple hat adorned with a green feather or leaf.

Maar, who had an intense relationship with Picasso for nine years, was 31 when this portrait was taken.

During World War Two, the Nazis seized the painting, but were intercepted by French Resistance fighters on their way from Paris to Moravia.

In 2015, Picasso's Women of Algiers sold for US$179m at Christie's - a record sum for a picture sold at auction.

Seated Woman went to a US collector was sold for US$26m six years ago.

BBC arts correspondent Vincent Dowd has described it as one of the great Picasso portraits of his middle years, inspired - as so often - by love and powerful sexual desire.