Picasso painting the main draw at Rockefeller art ‘sale of the century’

Christie's employees stand next to 'Fillette a la corbeille fleurie' by Pablo Picasso from the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller during a sale preview at Christie's auction house in Paris, France March 13, 2018. Picture taken March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Updated 14 March 2018
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Picasso painting the main draw at Rockefeller art ‘sale of the century’

PARIS: One of Picasso’s most unsettling paintings returns to Paris on Friday more than a century after he painted it in that city, as a taster for what is being billed the art “sale of the century.”
One of the rarest Picasso paintings, once owned by Gertrude Stein, is part of an art trove belonging to the Rockefeller dynasty that could raise half a billion dollars this year, in what auctioneer Christie’s says could be the most valuable sale ever of a private collection.
With the art market surging, the nude “Young Girl With a Flower Basket” is expected to make at least $100 million (81 million euros) when it goes under the hammer in New York in May along with works by Monet, Renoir and Gauguin from the private collection of US billionaires Peggy and David Rockefeller.
Auction house Christie’s expects the sale of the 1,600 works of art amassed by the couple to top $600 million — easily beating the world record set in Paris in 2009 when the collection put together by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge made $484 million.
They include one of Monet’s waterlily paintings as a well as one of his famously smoky views of St. Lazare station in Paris and three Miro murals which are expected to fetch $25 million.
“It’s a really historic moment, the biggest private collection ever put up for auction,” Christie’s French head Francois de Ricqles told AFP.
It not only represents the works collected by “a couple of great taste,” he said, “but with the addition of the items they inherited reflects the passion of generations of the Rockefeller family for art.”
David Rockefeller, the former head of Chase Manhattan Bank, died last year aged 101, two decades after his wife.
The entire proceeds of the sale will go to charitable causes including Harvard University and conservation groups in the state of Maine, where the Rockefeller family had summer homes.
The Picasso, a masterpiece from his pink period in 1905, is one of 10 works being shown by Sotheby’s in the French capital in the run-up to the sale.
Once owned by Picasso’s friend, the American poet and novelist Gertrude Stein, it has not been shown in Paris in more than 50 years.
Stein initially was troubled by the side-on view and the girl’s “repulsive” feet, but her husband Leo loved it. When they split up, however, she kept the painting for herself, leaving him their Cezannes.
The Rockefellers were equally attached to it, not allowing it to leave their home on 65th Street in New York after they bought it in 1968.
Selected works from the collection are being displayed around the world leading up to the sale.
The Paris show also includes Georges Seurat’s picture of sailing boats, “La Rade de Grandcamp,” which is expected to make up to $30 million and Eugene Delacroix’s “Tiger Playing with a Tortoise” (1862), which has an estimate of $7 million.


Winners of prestigious photography award announced at Riyadh forum

Colors of Arabia held an event to honor artists in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 14 December 2018
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Winners of prestigious photography award announced at Riyadh forum

  • Colors of Arabia forum held under the patronage of SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman

RIYADH; The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced the winners of the Prince Sultan Bin Salman Photography Award in four categories.
Winners of the prestigious award, which was launched to recognize budding talent and efforts to highlight the Kingdom’s heritage, received SR300,000 each and shields at a ceremony held at the Colors of Arabia forum under the patronage of Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTH president.
The forum, which is being held at Riyadh’s International Convention and Exhibition Center, spans 15,000 square meters and is expected to have attracted 30,000 visitors by the time it ends on Sunday.
The award for the “pioneers” category, which recognizes the work of Saudis who have successfully contributed to the development of local artists, was won by a photographer in Hafr Al-Batin who began capturing day-to-day life in the Eastern Province city at only 12 years of age. The work of Jarallah Al-Hamad is now used in government brochures.
The award in the “literature and publications” category, which was open to contenders of any nationality both within and outside the Kingdom, recognizes photographers who have captured shots for publications and the film industry. Amin Al-Qusayran, a photographer and graphic designer from Madinah who began pursuing his passion 15 years ago, had previously won two awards in recognition of his work. Al-Qusayran is also author of a pictorial book shedding light on the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
The “civilized heritage” category, meanwhile, was open to photographers from around the globe seeking to preserve world heritage through the power of image.
The award for this category was jointly won by two photographers of Arab descent. Mohamed Bouhsen, from Bahrain, had left university to document national heritage in his country and the Arabian Peninsula at large. He won the award alongside Jalal Al-Masri, an Egyptian photographer who has taken part in 133 local, Arab and international exhibitions.
The STCH also announced the winners of the photo and short film awards in seven categories.
Mazen Flamban, who won the award in the “cultural heritage” category, expressed his surprise and joy at having had his work recognized.
“My ambition is to revive Hijazi heritage through my lens,” Flamban told Arab News. “This was the first year I joined the competition. My photo depicts an old woman who lives alone as she reminisces over old photos.”