The most expensive painting to be sold at auction, Pablo Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” goes on public display in Britain for the first time on Monday at the Tate Modern gallery in London.
The 1932 work, which sold for $106.5 million at Christie’s in New York last year, has been lent to the Tate galleries from a private collection and will be on display in a new Pablo Picasso room in the Poetry and Dream section.
“Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is one of the sequence of paintings of Picasso’s muse, Marie-Therese Walter, made by the artist at Boisgeloup, Normandy, in the early months of 1932,” said Nicholas Serota, the Tate’s director. “They are widely regarded as amongst his greatest achievements of the inter-war period.”
Picasso first encountered Walter in 1927, but their relationship had to remain secret from his wife, Olga. According to the Tate, it was only in 1931-2 that he began to make sculptures and paintings in which the manipulation of Walter’s body was explicit and eroticised.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.