A vibrant Pablo Picasso canvas depicting the artist’s young lover is expected to fetch up to £12 million at auction, with proceeds benefiting diabetes, obesity and heart research.
An anonymous American collector donated the painting to the University of Sydney, Australia, last year, and yesterday it announced plans to sell the painting with the auction house Christie’s.
Picasso painted Jeune fille endormie in 1935. The work depicts his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, whom he met in 1927 when she was 17 and he 45. The painting was snatched up by art collector Walter P. Chrysler Jr., son of the automobile tycoon, before being sold to the anonymous donor. Christie’s puts its value at £9 million to £12 million (US$14 million to $18 million).
It is not clear why the donor picked the University of Sydney as the beneficiary for the Picasso, or why diabetes, obesity and heart research was chosen to benefit. In a statement, the university’s vice chancellor Michael Spence said the proceeds “will create multiple endowed chairs across several disciplines within a new multidisciplinary University centre dedicated to research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease”.
Image courtesy Christie’s