Sold at auction: Picasso painting for $155 million

Young Girl With A Flower Basket by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso during a photocall at Christie's auction house in London, Britain on Feb 20, 2018.
Young Girl With A Flower Basket by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso during a photocall at Christie's auction house in London, Britain on Feb 20, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) - A Pablo Picasso painting of a teenage nude with flowers fetched US$115 million (S$155 million) at a Christie's auction in New York on Tuesday.

Painted in 1905 during the artist's Rose Period, Young Girl With A Flower Basket was estimated at US$100 million, the highest pre-sale value among more than 1,500 lots of the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection.

The painting once belonged to Gertrude Stein, an American writer and collector who was friends with Picasso and other artists in early 20th-century Paris. Her brother Leo bought the painting for US$30 in 1905, according to Christie's.

When the Stein estate came up for sale in 1968, Mr Rockefeller formed a syndicate of fellow Museum of Modern Art trustees to buy it.

The estate was estimated at US$6.8 million at the time. The syndicate members agreed to draw numbers from a felt hat to determine the selection order.

Mr Rockefeller got the first pick and chose Young Girl.

Earlier in the auction, records were set for artists including Henri Matisse, whose painting Odalisque couchee aux magnolias generated US$80.8 million with fees.

Claude Monet's water lilies painting sold for a record US$84.7 million.