“I had gone shopping to the Galeries Lafayette and Picasso saw me coming out of the Métro. He simply grabbed me by the arm and said, ‘’I’m Picasso! You and I are going to do great things together!’” – Marie-Therese Walter
Pablo Picasso met the 17 year old Marie-Thérèse Walter, who lived in a flat across the street from his home, in 1927. Their affair began while he was still married to his then-wife, Olga.
Le Rêve is Picasso’s painting of Marie-Thérèse from the period when he portrayed distorted depictions of his subjects, with contrasted colors and simple, clean outlines. Consider this: It was first sold for $7,000 in 1941, and the next time it came to the market, it was sold for $48.4 million at a Christie’s auction in 1997!
The painting had a few owners, before it reached Steve Wynn’s collection. In 2006, before selling it to Steven Cohen of SAC Capital (he bought it for $60 million), Wynn decided to have a party and show the painting to his friends. Blame it on his wild gestures or retinitis pigments (which affects peripheral vision), but in an unfortunate incident, Wynn’s elbow tore the canvas right through the left forearm of the figure, creating a six-inch tear! Of course, the painting was fixed (err, for $90,000), but not sold, and was later reappraised at $85 million.
Update: The painting has been reportedly sold to Steven Cohen in March 2013 for $155 million! The seller, of course, was Steven Wynn. Read more here: NY Post
See our interview with Brooke Lampley, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art Department at Christie’s New York.
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