One of the star attractions at Christie’s evening auction of Impressionist and Modern Art in London on 23 June is said to be a highly celebrated masterpiece by the great Pablo Picasso. The painting, Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, dating to1903, comes from the artist’s celebrated Blue Period. The famous painting is expected to fetch between £30 million ($45.9million) to £40 million ($61.2million). What is more, all proceeds from the sale o this painting will be donated to The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, a charity that focuses on promoting arts, culture, and heritage in Britain. The painting was acquired by The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation at auction in New York in May 1995 for $29.2 million from the Stralem Collection using funds donated for this purpose by Lord Lloyd Webber. The painting depicts Picasso’s great skills and gives insights into the artist’s life and his circle of friends.
Sitting with his glass of absinthe and his pipe, the smoke curling upwards, the Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto is the very embodiment of the Blue Period aesthetic. Picasso and Angel, a painter, as well were inseparable. Picasso usually referred to Angel as an ‘amusing wastrel’ who was more inclined towards drinking and partying than arts. This penchant for partying, which would distract Picasso so much that he moved to another studio, is discreetly evident in this contemplative portrait. The 20th-century masterpiece is sure to attract art collectors and connoisseurs from across the globe.
Christie’s can definitely expect a great response at the auction, courtesy of the Picasso painting.