Writer ARIADNA FERNÁNDEZ UJJA
€160.9 million was the amount that has made Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) by Pablo Picasso become the most expensive painting ever auctioned. The auction took place at Christie’s in New York, where the painting, which had still auctioned in 1997 by 32 million, has been revalued to more than the price of the triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud, by Francis Bacon (auctioned in 2014 for 142.4 million dollars).
This work of 1955, 114 × 156.4 cm, is a tribute to the last Picasso woman, Jacqueline Roque. Is a cubist painting reproduced from a work by the French artist Eugène Delacroix that reads the same title; this painting haunted this Spanish painter because he saw Jacqueline on it. A picture that, like Bacon’s painting, is a dialogue between two artists (Picasso and Delacroix), or even three, as it is considered a response to the death of Matisse, his friend and rival. This work belonged to the Victor and Sally Ganz collection and has been part of the painter’s retrospective at the MoMA in New York (1957 and 1980) in the National Gallery in London (in 1960) and in the Louvre in Paris (in 2008 and 2009).