The painting "Woman of the Hour" by the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso was displayed in Dubai on Monday at the beginning of a tour that also included Hong Kong and London, before being sold at an auction in New York at a value expected to exceed $120 million.
The painting, which depicts the French artist Marie-Thérèse Walter, one of Picasso's partners, wearing a watch, will be sold in a two-day auction organized by Sotheby's next November, which includes other works from a collection owned by the late Emily Fisher Landau.
The house announced that the painting, which dates back to 1932, is expected to fetch no less than $120 million.
The UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qasimi, said in a statement, “Art lovers and art collectors in the United Arab Emirates have the honor of seeing this masterpiece first before it sets off on a tour around the world.”
The painting will be displayed on Monday and Tuesday in the Dubai International Financial Centre.
The year 1932 was so important in Picasso's work that an entire exhibition was dedicated to it in 2018 at the Tate Modern Museum in London.
Sotheby's said that Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977), whom Picasso portrayed in the painting, was his "muse." They met in Paris in 1927 when Walter was still married to the Russian-Ukrainian ballerina Olga Khokhlova, and Walter was 17 years old.
Fifty years after his death in 1973 at the age of 91, Picasso remains one of the most influential artists, often praised as a genius and innovator.