Painted in 1932, soon after Picasso's 50 years of age, the painting "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" (Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur) has set a new world record for a work of art sold at auction.
The oil painting measuring 160 cm x 130 cm, depicts a sideface of the artist on a pedestal observing the naked figure of Marie-Thérèse Walter, a 17 year old girl who he met while married to Olga Khoklhova and who later become his lover.
She ended up commiting suicide soon after Picasso's death in 1973.
Acquired in 1951 by the millionaire constructor and modern art lover Sydney F. Brody and included in Mrs. Brody collection, "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" was sold at Christie's, New York, for $106,4 million ($95 million without commissions and taxes) to an anonymous buyer.
From the same collection, two sculptures by Alberto Giacometti: "Grande Tête Mince" (1954-1955) and "El Gato", were sold for $53.2 million and $20.8 million, respectively.
According to Christie's press release of May 4, 2010, the Spring Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale achieved a total of $335,548,000.
The previous record for a work of art sold at auction belonged Giacometti's sculpture "Walking Man I" (1960) sold in February at Sotheby's, London, for $104.3 million, while Picasso's "Garçon à la Pipe" (1905), sold at Sotheby's for $104.1 million was until now the most expensive painting sold at auction.
Access a list of the most expensive paintings.