Earlier this month an online raffle gave art admirers the opportunity to own their very own Picasso drawing for just $135. It might seem like a bargain, but with 50,000 raffle tickets available, the $1 million artwork could stand to raise $6.75 million in the end (with all proceeds going toward the preservation of the ancient city of Tyre).
That sum, however, doesn't hold a candle to an upcoming sale of 29 Picasso artworks at Christie's in New York City, heading to auction courtesy of the famed collector Jan Krugier. Including wood sculptures, minotaur sketches and portraits of Paloma, the bevy of Picasso masterpieces are set to hit the bidding block at the same time, with one lot alone boasting a $35 million high estimate.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Claude et Paloma, oil and ripolin on panel, painted in Vallauris, 20 January 1950. Estimate: $9,000,000-12,000,000
Krugier entered into the art world in the 1940s, eventually opening his own gallery in Geneva, Switzerland. There he staged the first exhibition of Picasso's work following the artist's death in 1973, thus starting would become a close relationship with the Picasso family and a lifelong dedication to collecting Picasso's works.
A Holocaust survivor and philanthropist, Krugier was always eager to share his collections -- including his pricey Picassos -- with audiences across Europe. “I want to share my secret with people all over the world, so they can be touched by something heroic, sublime, outside time," he once said. "I have experienced the most monstrous aspects of humanity, and I believe that only beauty can save the world.”
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), La Minotauromachie, etching and engraving with scraper, executed on 1935. Estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000
Krugier passed away in 2008, and now his beloved treasures are up for sale. Besides a whopping 29 Pablo Picasso originals, the collection includes Wassily Kandinsky’s "Herbstlandschaft," valued at $25 million, as well as Alberto Giacometti's "Femme de Venise I," estimated to fetch up to $12 million.
Below is just a glimpse into the coveted Picasso masterpieces once owned by Mr. Krugier. With a little mathematical magic, you can see that these 12 pieces alone could muster close to $90 million, a figure sure to make even the man behind "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" blush.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Le jeune homme, wood, executed in Cannes, 6 June 1958. Estimate: $5,000,000-8,000,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme dans un rocking-chair, oil on canvas, painted at La Californie, 25 March 1956. Estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Figure (Paulo en costume d’Arlequin), oil on canvas, painted on 20 November 1926. Estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Figurine, metal, wire and wooden spool, executed in 1931. Estimate: $300,000-400,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Baigneuse sur la plage, pen and India ink on paper, drawn on 8 January 1931. Estimate: $4,500,000-6,500,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme debout, sheet metal and plaster, executed in Cannes, 1961. Estimate: $800,000-1,200,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Carnet Dinard (Carnet 1044, page 5), pen and India ink on paper, drawn in Dinard, 29-30 July 1928. Estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Tête (Maquette pour la sculpture du Chicago Civic Center), cut-out sheet iron, Conceived in Mougins, 1962-1964. Estimate: $25,000,000-35,000,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Cigare, painted wood, executed in 1941. Estimate: $200,000-300,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Buste d’homme écrivant (Personnage [Autoportrait]), oil on canvas, painted on 28 June 1971.