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Picasso painting to be sold at auction

Pablo Picasso’s La Lecture is set to be auctioned off in London in the coming week.

The piece depicts Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s formerly secret lover. Picasso was 45 years old when he met her as she introduced herself when she got off a train in Paris. The muse was just 17 at the time, and her relationship with the artist was kept secret for some time.

La Lecture was the first Picasso work to feature Walter’s image as the centrepiece. She had been featured in his work before but had always appeared hidden in the background. The painting had caused the end of Picasso’s marriage after his wife Olga Khokhlova saw the painting at a retrospective exhibit and came to the realisation that the artist had another lover in his life.

Ms Walter and Picasso later had a daughter, Maya. Walter also inspired a number of the painter’s other works, including Nude, Green Leaves and Bust as well as La Reve.

Now the 1932 painting, which shows Ms Walter reading a book, is expected to go for £12 million to £18 million when it is auctioned at Sotheby’s on the 8th of February. Other classic artists whose paintings will also be auctioned in the sale include Claude Monet and Lucian Freud.

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