The powerful art-dealing Nahmad family has confirmed that Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (Young Girl with a Flower Basket, 1905), the Picasso painting which sold at Christie’s New York last week as part of the Rockefeller estate sale, will go on show at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris this autumn.
The work, a painting of a naked, pale pubescent girl from Picasso’s Rose period, was originally in the collection of Gertrude and Leo Stein. Estimated at around $100m, it attracted only one bid, and sold to its third party guarantor for $102m hammer ($115m including fees), who was on the phone with Loic Gouzer, the co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art.
According to The New York Times, the lot was purchased by the Nahmad family. A spokeswoman for the Helly Nahmad gallery in New York told The Art Newspaper: “We do not comment on acquisitions but it will be loaned to the Musée d’Orsay.” A spokeswoman from the museum declined to comment.
The piece is due to be included in the exhibition Picasso: Blue and Rose (18 September-6 January 2019) which will also travel to the Fondation Beyeler in Basel (3 February-26 May 2019). The curators, including Laurent Le Bon, the president of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, propose “a new interpretation on the years 1900-1906, a critical period in the artist’s career which to date has not been covered in its entirety by a French museum”.
Speaking on The Art Newspaper's podcast last week (11 May), our editor-at-large Georgina Adam says that Rose period Picassos are rare. She adds: “In today’s world of #MeToo, this image [Young Girl with a Flower Basket] is a little problematic. That sort of picture would not go to the Middle East and possibly Chinese buyers might have been a little uncomfortable with it.”