Picasso portrait sells for record sum


A Picasso artwork has sold for nearly £50 million - the highest auction price for any painting ever sold in Europe in pounds.

The artist's portrait of Marie-Therese Walter, known as his "golden muse", sold for £49.8 million at Sotheby's London on Wednesday evening.

The 1937 painting has never been sold on the market before, having previously been part of a private collection.

Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee was painted in the same year as the artist's famous Guernica.

Thomas Bompard, head of Sotheby's London impressionist and modern art evening sales, called the oil on canvas work "one of the greatest portraits by Picasso to appear on the market in recent years."

He said: "Of all of the artist's styles and decades, this is the one that most epitomises the legacy of Picasso as a portraitist of women - with this particular painting encompassing all of the key elements for which he is recognised and celebrated."

The painting sold for the second highest price in pounds in Europe is Rubens' The Massacre of the Innocents, which sold for £49.5 million in 2002.