Picasso's Gilot Portrait Sells
For $30 Million at Sotheby's
Femme Au Chignon Dans Un Fauteuil (Woman with Chignon in an Armchair) sold for almost $30 million at the recent Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Sale (5/5/2015). It was the highest price ever paid for a portrait of Françoise Gilot, who was Picasso's lover for a decade.
The painting was purchased by Chinese movie producer Wang Zhongjun who paid almost $30 million, double the $12-18 million pre-auction estimate. The painting was sold from the Goldwyn collection, and was purchased by Samuel Goldwyn in 1956.
Gilot was the subject of many portraits throughout their relationship, and the brightly colored jacked was a familiar article. Picasso had bought jacked as an appeasement gift after leaving Gilot for several weeks to attend a Communist conference in Poland.
The piece was painted in 1948 when she was pregnant with her second child with Picasso. She would leave Picasso in 1953 and later write a popular book Life with Picasso. The book painted a very unfavorable picture of Picasso and he never forgave her. The animus was also directed at their two children Paloma and Claude, who the artist refused to see.
Gilot was an artist in her own right before she married Picasso, but gave up much of her own art during their ten-year relationship time. She would ultimately marry Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine, an return to her art . She is still painting and has carved out a successful career. In Spring of 2015, her work was exhibited at the Vincent Mann Gallery in New Orleans.