Head of a Woman by Pablo Picasso is an artwork with a particular history. After belonging to a family of German-Jewish bankers for many years, it was ceded during Fascism. Many years later and after numerous debates, the claim for ownership of the artwork is ascertained. The painting then returns from the National Gallery of Art in Washington to the heirs of the banker who owned the Picasso. The drawing is now up for sale for $ 10 million.
Picasso’s Head of a Woman on sale
Head of a Woman depicts the harmonious face of an unknown woman. Depicted in the foreground, the woman seems to have an expression of serene acceptance not without a little melancholy. The work is a drawing pastel, further evidence of Picasso’s passion for drawing on paper.
A Pablo Picasso pastel drawing sold in desperation by a German Jewish banker before World War II is returning to the market for at least $10 million https://t.co/HidXdqcAfH— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 7, 2020
The owner of the artwork was Von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, a descendant of composer Felix Mendelssohn. However, the wealthy banker belonged to a family of German Jews. For this reason, when fascism reached the political peak, Mendelssohn took drastic measures. The banker who owned at least 15 other significant artworks, sold the Picasso for a devalued price, fearing the Nazis would confiscate his estate.
So it was that in 1934 the art dealer Justin Thannhauser bought the drawing. It was not until 2001 that Head of a Woman arrived at the National Gallery of Art through a donation.
The transition from the National Gallery of Art to Mendelssohn’s heirs was not without friction. In fact, the important American gallery has raised serious doubts about the legitimacy of the Mendelssohn request. The museum said it has decided to transfer ownership of the drawing in a settlement “to avoid the heavy toll of litigation.” The decision, it said, “does not constitute an acknowledgment of the merit or validity of the asserted claims.”
A new museum dedicated to Picasso
After the two museums in Paris and those in Malaga, Barcelona, Vallauris, La Coruna, Monaco and Antibes, what promises to be the largest Picasso’s museum in the world will soon be inaugurated.
The ambitious project bears the signature of Catherine Hutin-Blay, daughter of Jacqueline Roque. She was the last wife of the Spanish painter and inspirational muse until his death. In the new museum it will be possible to admire a thousand paintings and sculptures. Works mostly unknown and dating back to the last period of the artist, from the rich private collection of Catherine Hutin.
There are already eight museums in Spain and France that pay homage to the greatest abstract painter of all time. But this new museum dedicated to Picasso in Aix-en-Provence will be the largest of all.
This extraordinary museum will rise in the seat of a former convent. A real wealth for the French town, already well-known for having given birth to Cézanne.
The project also includes a documentation center with an auditorium, a ceramic and engraving workshop, a library, and a space for temporary exhibitions. According to forecasts, the project will be completed in spring 2021. 47 years after his death, the Spanish artist continues to catalyze the attention of the market and the interest of art lovers from all over the world!