Saturday, March 10, 2012
Painted in 1901, when Pablo Picasso was 19 years old (beginning of his Blue Period), "Child with a Dove" (also referred as "Child Holding a Dove" and "Child with Pigeon") is for sale.
The auction house Christie's has been chosen by the owner of the painting to find a buyer and it seems that there is already someone interested outside UK. The work is valued at £50 million (€60 million; $79 million).
Since the piece was publically shown, the present owner was exempt from inheritance tax when he first received the piece, but this tax would become payable if the work was to be sold privately. Under UK regulations, owners in this situation have to publish a notice of intention of sale via the Arts Council England’s Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit, and allow three months for national collectors (institutions or privates) to decide whether they are in a position to cover other offerings from abroad.
According to news and considering that "Child with a Dove" is not one of Picasso's most important works, it is unlikely that the painting will stay in the UK.
Moreover the National Gallery revealed it had spent most of its legacy reserves to purchase Titian's Diana and Callisto from the Duke of Sutherland.
Although the auction house didn't reveal details about the owner, The Art Inquirer believes that "Child with a Dove" is owned by Henry Charles McLaren, 4th Baron Aberconway.
The painting, which served as cover illustration of a famous coffee-table survey of modern art published shortly after the Second World War by Albert Skirawas, was part of Samuel Courtauld's collection and was bequeathed in 1928 to Christabel Mary Melville MacNaghten, Lady Aberconway (12 December 1890 - 7 August 1974), who apparently was more than just a friend to Courtauld (7 May 1876 – 1 December 1947) in his later years.
Loaned since early 2012 to the Coultard Gallery and currently on show at Tate Britain's "Picasso and Modern British Art" blockbuster exhibition, the painting had been on long-term loan at London's National Gallery from 1974 to 2011.