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Culture Nivel B2

Picasso dazzles as portrait of lover fetches $103 million at NYC auction

By Helen Cook / New York City (US) / A Pablo Picasso portrait of his lover became the star of Christie’s 20th Century Art auction held Thursday in New York, where a nearly 20-minute battle between two bidders raised the sale price of the work to $103.4 million.

The bidding for “Femme Assise Près d’une Fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse),” a large, vibrantly colored portrait of Picasso’s muse and lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, came close to doubling the estimated price tag of $55 million estimated by experts at the auction house.

Bidding started at $45 million and stopped at $90 million, to which fees and taxes were later added.

The piece, measuring 146 x 114cm, is considered an exceptional work by Picasso, since the Spaniard normally painted Marie-Thérèse lying down, naked, with her eyes closed and appearing lost in her own thoughts. In this she sits relaxed, but commanding and stately, on a black chair near a window.

In addition, it was painted in 1932, one of the artist’s most productive and coveted years. “Everyone wants one of his 1932 works,” said Vanessa Fusco of the auction at Christie’s Thursday.

Specifically, it was produced in October 1932 at Picasso’s Château de Boisgeloup in Normandy, and is part of a series of portraits of Marie-Thérèse that were exhibited in “Picasso, 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy,” which in 2017 and 2018 was displayed at the Tate Modern in London and at the Musée Picasso in Paris.

In the curvilinear cubism painting, Marie-Thérèse, who met Picasso outside a gallery at 17 years of age when the painter was 45, is dressed in red, green and lilac.

Shortly after, another painting by the Spaniard, “Femme Dans un Dauteuil,” which had been valued at $15-20 million, went up for auction, but only reached $14.7 million, which rose to $17.1 million with fees.

A third Picasso, “Tete de Femme,” sold for a more modest price of $4.1 million dollars, although it exceeded expectations of $3.5 million.

A large sculpture by Joan Miró, “Femme (Femme debout),” sold for $4.1 million, notably below the $7 million minimum price anticipated.

The second most sought-after artist of the night was the Frenchman Claude Monet, whose “Waterloo Bridge, Effet de Brouillard” sold for $48.4 million, exceeding the estimate of $35 million.

The piece, in blue tones and that Monet began at the peak of his career in 1899, is considered one of his most important London landscapes to have gone up to auction, and is one of the few works in the series that remains in private hands.

“Untitled,” by Mark Rothko in dark blue and green and documented as the penultimate work of the American and one of only three that he painted in 1970 before his death, fell below the $40 million that had been predicted, going for $38.1 million.

But the biggest surprise was the 1968 oil painting “Toweling Off,” by the American Wayne Thiebaud, who turned 100 last year. It reached $8.5 million, quadrupling the $1.8 million maximum price expected by Christie’s. (May 13, 2021, EFE)

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Question 1
En general, el texto trata...    
de cómo solía retratar Picasso a una de sus amantes.
de unas obras de arte que fueron subastadas recientemente en EE.UU.
del año más productivo de Picasso desde un punto de vista artístico.
Question 2
Sobre la subasta de ese cuadro de Picasso se dice que...  
superó todas las expectivas y se subastó por un precio muy superior al que habían estimado los expertos.
se subastó al precio que habían estimado los expertos.
se subastó por menos del valor que habían estimado los expertos.
Question 3
Según el texto...  
se desconoce por qué subió tanto el precio de ese retrato pintado por Picasso.
todo el mundo estaba pujando de forma presencial en esa subasta.
el precio de esa obra de Picasso subió tanto ya que hubo dos compradores muy interesados en ese retrato.
Question 4
Sobre ese retrato de Picasso se dice que...  
es un cuadro que apenas es colorido.
fue pintado en un periodo en el que Picasso fue muy productivo.
es el primero que pintó Picasso en toda su carrera artística.
Question 5
En el texto se dice que...  
el cuadro de Monet alcanzó un precio superior al de Picasso.
un cuadro de Monet fue subastado por más de 40 millones de dólares.
una obra de Mark Rothko fue subastada en la capital de EE.UU.
Question 6
En el vídeo observamos que...  
en ese retrato de Picasso, esa mujer está cerca de una ventana.
en ese retrato de Picasso, una mujer está sentada en una cama.
ese retrato es diminuto.
Question 7
En el texto, una "cantidad astronómica" es...    
una cantidad normal.
una cantidad muy pequeña.
una cantidad desorbitada o muy elevada.
Question 8
La expresión "ya que" significa...  
puesto que.
ahora mismo.
en otro momento.
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