Picasso painting on sale in Namibia

The painting’s inclusion at the local auction has raised questions from artists, with Martina von Wenzel from the Swakopmund Fine Art Gallery saying its price tag was "wishful thinking".

07 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Erwin Leuschner



SWAKOPMUND

A painting by acclaimed Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was offered for sale at an auction in Namibia for the record starting price of N$418 million. No bid was entered, though. The painting, titled the ‘Femme assise au chapeau de paille’, is currently being kept in a safe in Europe.

The Swakopmund auction house Bay Auctioneers, which also has a branch in Walvis Bay, over the weekend offered the painting as its most expensive item to date. The online auction started on 31 March and ran until yesterday.

“No, it wasn't an April Fool's joke,” auctioneer Quintin Jonck said yesterday after several people asked him about it. According to him, a South African agency which has the rights to sell the painting put it on the market.

The agency, which deals in antiquities, has in the past bought items from his auction house, as he regularly auctions gold coins and more.

“The authenticity of the painting was proven with documentation, which is why I thought ‘why not?’ It was a showcase item,” he said. The owner of the painting is unknown.

Some interest

According to Jonck, the agency determined the reserve price of US$32 million (N$469 million). He set the starting price at N$418 million. He’s not surprised that no bid was entered, he said.

“There were a few interested people, though. One person intends to travel to Europe and to see the painting in person,” Jonck said.

The painting has been cited as one of the most attractive and alluring of Picasso's many portraits of Marie-Thérèse Walter - one of his mistresses.

It is one of three portraits he painted of her in July 1938. All three remained in his private collection until the early 1960s. It was painted using oil on canvas and measures 65 cm by 54 cm.

The artwork last changed hands in February 2004 at a Sotheby’s auction in London for around US$4.5 million (about N$65 million).

“We sell a lot of valuables once the auction finishes if they were not sold,” Jonck said. In the case of this painting, interested parties can continue to make an offer.

“Who knows, maybe we’ll sell the piece in the next few days,” he said.

Wishful thinking

The painting’s inclusion at the local auction has, however, raised questions from artists. “Why the painting is not sold at a renowned art auction house such as Sotheby’s is quite strange,” Martina von Wenzel from the Swakopmund Fine Art Gallery said.

She organises annual auctions, and has customers all over the world.

“If this piece was on auction in Europe, it would have reached real art collectors and the right audience. I think there was a lot of wishful thinking about the price,” she said.

Similar News

 

Weekend recap: Creatives wave Namibian flag high

3 days ago - 12 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Africa’s first ever humanitarian, fashion, music, film-making and fitness awards show, the Zikomo Awards, took place in Lusaka, Zambia, over the weekend,...

New music galore

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Having been consistent for many years, Gazza has amassed a solid...

African artists to star in Covid-19 vaccine animation series

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

ALL AFRICA Zimbabwe's Danai Gurira, Kenya's Fena and Nigeria's David Oyelowo and Teni...

Must-watch entertainment on DStv this April

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKHere’s something to get excited about this month. April is jam-packed with new shows and movies you simply can’t...

Keeping it real

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

The Namibian art and entertainment industry has been recording significant wins - from music, film, fashion to visual arts, which gives me hope for a...

It’s a wrap!

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK Despite the challenging year that was 2020, MultiChoice is thrilled...

'Jerusalema' hits over 1b streams on TikTok

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

IOL ENTERTAINMENT ‘Jerusalama’, which features vocalist Nomcebo, was a global TikTok sensation in...

Picasso painting on sale in Namibia

1 week ago - 07 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Erwin Leuschner SWAKOPMUNDA painting by acclaimed Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was offered for sale at an auction in Namibia for the record...

Germany supports OYO project

2 weeks ago - 01 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The German government this week announced they are funding more than N$1 million to a human rights organisation targeting Namibian youth.The German...

Young T drops new album

2 weeks ago - 01 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has been a pandemic in Namibia for years.Taking the opportunity to address this social ill, Young T released an...

Latest News

Credit uptake unresponsive to low...

14 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDespite the repo rate being at a historical low of 3.75% to making borrowing attractive, credit uptake by businesses and households remain weak.Private sector...

GIPF increases pension benefits by...

14 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced a 3% pension benefit increase, effective 01 April 2021 for all GIPF pensioners.In the current volatile economic...

Clearing agents fail Namra test

14 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKLess than 20% of the clearing agents who sat for the mandatory competency test to obtain certification passed the test.There are currently 343 active...

Villagers retaliate by eating locusts

14 hours ago | Agriculture

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIThe arrival of massive swarms of locusts in northern Namibia, especially in the Kavango West and East, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, has been a...

NamRa

14 hours ago | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKRape accused healthcare worker Dennis Noa will be moved to the Seeis police holding cells outside Windhoek, Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni ordered yesterday at the...

Otjiwarongo Municipality's budget approved

14 hours ago | Economics

The Otjiwarongo Municipality’s local authority councillors on Tuesday approved the municipality’s 2021/22 capital and expenditure budget of more than N$131 million during a special council...

Our conflict diamonds

14 hours ago | Opinion

Our diamonds have become conflict diamonds. Conflict in the local definition which implies the scramble to enrich well-connected people.The tender to valuate Namdia diamonds was...

Child-slapping boy in Outapi court...

14 hours ago | Crime

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAONGWEDIVAOmusati police have confirmed the arrest of a 17-year-old who was seen in a video clip assaulting a five-year-old girl.The video has gone viral...

Vivo Energy Namibia rewards top...

14 hours ago | Transport

Staff reporter Vivo Energy Namibia, the marketer and distributor of Shell branded petroleum and lubricant products in Namibia, recognised and rewarded top performing retailers...

Load More