Portrait de femme endormie. III (Portrait of a sleeping woman. III)1946 by Pablo Picasso

...dated "Antibes 31 octobre 46 III", 1946...

...a sensual, 1946 colored portrait of his young lover, Francoise Gilot, sleeping. Picasso made numerous drawings of Gilot, but this example, says Stuckey, “is the finest and most ambitious of them all.”

...In no case was this dynamic more dramatic than when, just a few minutes into the sale, a drawing on paper in blue and red crayon of a sleeping Françoise Gilot that Picasso made on Halloween of 1946 arrived on the block. Estimated to sell for at most $1.5 million, Portrait de femme endormie. III climbed steadily upward, past $2 million, then $3 million, and $4 million. Auctioneer Henry Highley eventually refereed a competition between two Phillips specialists representing phone bidders, and the winner secured victory by agreeing to pay $9.32 million. (All sales prices include fees, unless otherwise noted.)
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