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Have we reached peak Picasso?

The Modern master's star continues to rise in the market

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Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O') (1955) sold for $179.4m at Christie's New York in May 2015, the artist's all-time auction high Courtesy of Christie's Images LTD

Picasso has proven nearly impervious to the art market’s boom-bust cycles, dipping only twice in the past decade and improving in recovery each time, according to the art economist Roman Kräussl, a professor of finance at the University of Luxembourg. The high-water mark was set in May 2015, when the record-smashing Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) (1955) fetched $179.3m at Christie’s New York. Kräussl’s index of Picasso paintings sold in evening sales in London and New York between 1998 and 2017 suggests that this year could surpass even the previous peak, if early trends continue. “Picasso seems to be a strong blue-chip investment”, Kräussl says, adding: “As always, collectors should enjoy the work while it steadily increases in value.”

Picasso paintings at auction, 1998-2017

Even after dips that track with the broader market, Picasso has rebounded Data courtesy of Roman Kräussl