Liberation is approaching and violence is increasing. In early August 1944 Pablo left his studio in the Quartier Latin which had become too dangerous and spent several days in the apartment of the Ile Saint-Louis occupied by his former mistress Marie-Thérèse with their daughter Maya.
Pablo has no heart to pleasure. He looks at a tomato plant in front of the window. Easy to grow with little soil, water and sunlight, the tomato offers a limited complement of food in addition to the strict rationing. It mostly offers an illusion of initiative and freedom in this stifling time.
Pablo painted a simultaneous series of oil on canvas 92 x 73 cm on that theme. The more or less ripe tomatoes and the rich or weak foliage are not a naturalistic picture of Marie-Thérèse's plant but express the feelings of the Parisians at that time of undecided future. A gloomy version dated August 10 was sold for $ 13.5M including premium by Christie's on November 8, 2006.
On March 1 in London, Sotheby's sells the optimistic version, dated 6 August 1944. The heavy fruits soon to be picked bend the branches in a harmoniously centered composition. This painting is estimated £ 10M, lot 8.
SOLD for £ 17M including premium