Picasso's popularity at auction continues to grow in 2012, as proved by his Tete d'Homme at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art day sale, held in New York yesterday (November 7).
The auction follows Bonhams' own Impressionist and Modern Art sale on Monday, which saw Picasso's Trois nus feminins sell as top lot at $254,500. The piece at Sotheby's realised $1.1m, making a 26.9% increase on its $900,000 high estimate.
Tete d'Homme was created in 1965, as part of a series of male portraits that Picasso completed in quick succession. During the late period of his career the artist had developed a confident deftness in his brush strokes, illustrating the self-assurance that he had gained through endless experimentation.
While the figure represented in the work has not been identified, Picasso was quoted as saying: "Every time I draw a man, I find myself thinking of my father. To me a man means Don Jose, and it will always be so, all my life. All the men I draw I see more or less with his features."
By the time this piece was realised Picasso had been forced into reclusion by the intense pain caused by a severe stomach ulcer. As a result, he painted mostly from his memory and imagination, drawing upon his past experiences for inspiration.
The top lot of the sale was provided by Dutch painter Kees van Dongen's Deux Nus Aux Ballons. Created in 1905, the year Van Dongen first exhibited with the Fauves art movement (whose works were characterised by bright colours and painterly qualities), the piece sold within its $1.2m-1.8m estimate for $1.3m.
Sotheby's day sale will be followed by the Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale later today (November 8), which is to be led by Picasso's Nature Morte aux Tulips - check back with us to see the results.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a signed postcard of one of Picasso's most famous works.
Recent and related articles
· Picasso's Trois nus feminins sells for $254,500 at Bonhams | 6 November 2012
· Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern auction moves to November 8 | 1 November 2012
· Spare Room Peploe painting sells for $298,000 in Scotland | 26 October 2012
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