PABLO PICASSO FEMME AU BÉRET ROUGE-ORANGE PAINTED JANUARY 14, 1938 OIL AND RIPOLIN ON CANVAS ESTIMATE $20/30 MILLION © 2021 ESTATE OF PABLO PICASSO / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK COURTESY SOTHEBY'S AND MGM RESORTS

MGM Resorts to Auction Off $136 Million in Picasso Paintings in The ‘City of Sin’

Sotheby’s has announced that it will sell 11 Picasso paintings owned by MGM Resorts for a total of around $136 million in one of the most costly Picasso auctions ever held.

MGM Resorts and Sotheby’s will hold a special, first-of-its-kind marquee evening sale of masterworks by Pablo Picasso from the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection in October, to commemorate the famous artist’s 140th birthday.

The Picasso auction, which will take place live from Bellagio on Saturday, October 23, will be the largest and most significant fine art auction ever held in Las Vegas, and it will take place as MGM Resorts, reshapes its public fine art portfolio, focusing more on diversity and inclusion.

The collaboration is the first time Sotheby’s has held a headline evening sale outside of its trademark New York auction location.

The partnership between Sotheby’s and MGM will include a replicated version of the auction house’s historic saleroom in Las Vegas with an accompanying four-day luxury exhibition on view.

Two beautiful, large-scale portraits characteristic of the artist’s late period works, Homme et enfant US$20 to 30 million and Buste d’homme (US$10/15 million) round out the sale.

Both paintings were included in the mammoth 1970 show at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, probably the most significant exhibition of his late career. They were painted during one of the artist’s most creative and productive periods, from January 5, 1969, to February 2, 1970.

Homme et enfant is one of Picasso’s biggest works, encapsulating the artist’s obsession with his life and legacy at this late stage of his career. Picasso’s creative history as a younger man and an artist towards the conclusion of his career, as well as his legacy as a father, is symbolised by the two characters in the picture, a man and a kid.

Buste d’homme, which is part of Picasso’s Mousquetaires series, focuses on the aesthetic and thematic impact of Old Masters such as Velazquez and Rembrandt, in which he identifies himself with history’s colossal artists.

Each picture depicts Picasso’s contemplation on his creative legacy, both personally and historically, and shows the artist refining his skill of portraiture in his final years of labour.

Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs estimate US$10 to US$15 million, an excellent, museum-quality still life painted by Picasso during the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1942, is also featured in the October sale.

As a marquee auction, Sotheby’s will also broadcast the auction live to the rest of the globe with presale exhibitions taking place in New York and Las Vegas with travelling exhibitions planned to Taipei and Hong Kong.

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