West Flanders auction house to sell early Picasso oil painting

The auction house New-Art in Hooglede, West Flanders, will auction a work by Picasso, it announced on Thursday. The piece up for auction is an oil painting from around 1897. Bidding will start at 750,000 euros.

After its sale of a Van Gogh and a Degas in October, New-Art has acquired another masterpiece. The untitled work, depicting a naked man with a stick, is believed to have been created around 1897 when the artist was still studying in Barcelona. It is an academic work, produced during his studies.

The authenticity of this Picasso was confirmed in 2003 by Josep Palau i Fabre, a Picasso expert and friend. In the accompanying certificate, written in Catalan, he states that the brushstroke on the upper part of the cheekbone shows a painting style far removed from that of an academic painter.

"The authenticity was never in doubt"

Unlike the Van Gogh, which took the auction house over a year and a half to prepare for sale, this one was put together in months. "In this case, the authenticity was never in doubt," Raf Zerrouk of New-Art told the Krant van West-Vlaanderen.

"Not only do we have the certificate, but the work was also listed in a respected American online Picasso catalogue," he said. "Of course, we checked both things. As for how we managed to acquire such a prestigious name in such a short time, I can't answer that. But I do believe that hard work pays off."

The artwork, owned by a foreign private individual, will be auctioned on the online auction platform on 17 December at 16.00. Bids will start at 750,000 euros, with the price expected to reach as much as 1.5 million.


#FlandersNewsService | The auction for Picasso's Femme a la Montre at Sotheby's in New York City on 8 November 2023 © PHOTO ANGELA WEISS / AFP

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