(Reuters) – Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s “Femme assise à la galette des rois”, a portrait of the artist’s second wife Jacqueline Roque, will make its auction debut Friday for an estimate of $7.7 to $10 million.
Throughout his lifetime, Picasso’s wives, muses, and lovers provided him ongoing sources of inspiration.
“It was Jacqueline who would appear most in his paintings throughout his life,” said Rishika Assomull, Sotheby’s Modern Art specialist in Asia.
In the portrait, crowned Jacqueline is holding a galette des rois, a traditional French dessert (King Cake). A cake customarily cooked in the weeks following Christmas; it typically contains a little prize inside, whomever finds this wins a prize and becomes “king for a day”.
The large-scale portrait was kept in the same family’s collection for more than 50 years and remained unseen for over 30 years.
It is one of the highlights of Sotheby’s autumn auction, which also featured Gerhard Richter’s painting “Abstraktes Bild” with an estimated price range of $22.3-29.9 million and “The Williamson Pink Star,” an 11.15-carat fancy vivid pink diamond ring anticipated to sell for over $21 million.