Original Picasso Artwork to be Auctioned in SA (18 May 2016)
Original Picasso Artwork to be Auctioned in SA
Au Cirque is the first original Pablo Picasso coloured crayon drawing to be auctioned in South Africa, and has an estimated value of R3 to R3.5 million! It will go on the auction block at the Stephan Welz & Co. Fine and Decorative Arts Sale on Tuesday 7 June, at 19h00, and we had auctioneer Anton Welz in studio to tell us more about this exciting sale!
This is the third time that this drawing has been auctioned off - tell us about this drawing’s fascinating journey to the auction floor in Cape Town in June
It was first sold by Sothebys New York in 1990 for $154 000. And in 2006 it sold again for $240 000 at another Sothebys Impressionist sale in New York. Given the favourable South African Rand and US Dollar exchange rate, this could prove a massive draw card to both local and international bidders. With any work of this caliber, provenance is key and in the case of Au Cirque, its roots can be traced back to Picasso's Paris dealer, Galerie Louise Leiris. From there it made its way across the Atlantic to New York where it was sold to a prominent New York collector by the Saidenberg Gallery.
This drawing may look very rudimentary, but could you please tell us about what is being depicted in this drawing?
The painting’s subject embodies the courtly performers of the Renaissance, resurrected by Picasso for a 20th century audience. Picasso’s inspiration for itinerant figures and other masculine characters in his oeuvre can be traced to his Spanish childhood and his familiarity with Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Circus performers also signified for him the golden age of painting and allowed him to escape the limitations of contemporary subject matter. The artist’s rendering of this image was also his tribute to the work of two painters he had adored throughout his life: Diego Velázquez, whose portraits of 17th century Spanish nobility and sword-wielding monarchs were sources of inspiration for the present work; and the Dutch master, Rembrandt van Rijn, whom is credited as being a key influence on Picasso’s art of this period.
Why is it so significant for South Africa to have this exclusive auction?
This is the first original Pablo Picasso coloured crayon drawing to be auctioned in South Africa, which has an estimated value of R3 to R3.5 million. It was also a Picasso that fetched the highest price ever paid for an artwork at an auction, which was his 1955 painting Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 'O'), which sold for $179.4 million in a Christie's auction in 2015. Auction sales for Picasso in 2015 totaled $652.9 million, and Picasso’s works on paper have great allure to collectors.
Two lucky Expresso viewers have an awesome chance to win an amazing SABC3 hamper, consisting of a backpack, T-shirt and a water bottle. All you have to do is tweet and Facebook how much this drawing will be auctioned off for on the 7th June. The competition runs from today (18 May 2016) until midnight on 18 May 2016! You know much it is valued at, so use that as a guideline!