During that year Picasso is very busy with sculpture. When Brassaï enters his studio to take pictures, he is amazed by a large Tête de Mort. The skull looks almost alive with its empty orbits and its flattened nose. This theme expresses the sinister mood of the artist. Maybe even it is a self-portrait.
On May 15 in New York, Christie's sells as lot 8 A Le Marin, oil on canvas 129 x 81 cm dated October 28, 1943. The press release of March 30 announces an estimate in the region of $ 70M.
Once past the ambitions of his youth, Picasso generally left doubt about the identity of his characters. However he soon acknowledged that this sailor is a self-portrait.
The larger than life man in mid-length is dressed in a sailor's jersey, which is not a mere description of his signature dress habits : Pablo stuck in Paris is yearning for his beloved Mediterranean sea that he may never see again. All his attitude is sad, reinforced by the darkness around the eyes.
One year later Paris has just been liberated. Le Marin, a great symbol of wartime art, is highlighted in the Salon d'Automne. Belonging to the Ganz collection, it was sold for $ 8M by Christie's on November 10, 1997. In that sale the O version of Les Femmes d'Alger was sold for $ 32M including premium.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
withdrawn after reported damage
See May 13 press release.