Rare Picasso self-portrait expected to fetch $70 million

Conor Jordan, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s stands next to Pablo Picasso’s ‘Le Marin’ during a media preview of Christie’s Hong Kong Spring Sales in Hong Kong on March 30, 2018. (AFP/Philip FONG)
Updated 30 March 2018
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Rare Picasso self-portrait expected to fetch $70 million

HONG KONG: A rare Picasso believed to be a self-portrait created when he was under threat of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp is expected to fetch $70 million at auction, Christie’s said Friday as the work went on view in Hong Kong.
The oil painting “Le Marin” depicts a sad-looking man dressed in a blue and white striped sailor’s shirt sitting on a chair.
“You have ... a slightly dark sense around the picture. It’s nervous, it’s on edge and slightly gloomy,” said Conor Jordan, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s.
The 130 by 81 centimeter (52 by 31 inch) vertical painting shows the man resting his head against his right hand, while his legs are crossed with his left hand on his knee.
“That’s a traditional symbol of melancholy,” Jordan added.
Created in 1943, during the Nazi occupation of France, the painting reflects the distress and anxiety of the Spanish painter who was under threat of being sent to a concentration camp in Germany.
Le Marin’s last appearance was 21 years ago at an auction of works from the collection of New York art collectors Victor and Sally Ganz.
The painting will be on view in Hong Kong until April 3 before traveling to London and then New York, where it will go under the hammer on May 15 as part of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale.
Le Marin is one of the five most important pieces by Picasso, according to Christie’s.
Last November, a series of 100 Picasso etchings which deal with his erotic obsessions and marital strife, as well as political turmoil in the 1930s, sold for 1.9 million euros ($2.2 million) in Paris to an unnamed American collector.
Picasso’s “The Women of Algiers (Version 0)” set a world record as the most expensive piece of art sold at auction when it fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in New York in 2015.


Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

Updated 24 April 2019
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Hoda Barakat wins Arab Booker for ‘The Night Mail’

  • The author will receive a prize of $50,000 for her winning novel “The Night Mail”
  • The book includes a series of letters from individuals who are facing social and personal issues

ABU DHABI: Lebanese author Hoda Barakat has won the Booker international prize for Arabic fiction for her novel “The Night Mail.”
She will receive $50,000 and the five other authors who reached the final short-list will each receive $10,000, the organizers revealed late Tuesday.
Conceived in Abu Dhabi in 2007, the prize is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and financed by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.
Born in Beirut, Hoda Barakat lives in Paris and has published several novels including “The Stone of Laughter” and “My Master and My Lover.”
“The Night Mail” is her sixth novel and has been translated into French.
Alongside the prize money, funds will also be provided for translating the book into English.
The novel consists of a series of letters by individuals “facing social misery and their own demons,” according to publisher Actes Sud.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the emirate of the same name, has become an increasingly significant cultural hub.
The city hosts the Louvre Abu Dhabi — the first museum to take the name “Louvre” outside France — which houses nearly 600 works in a futuristic building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.