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May 5, 2010

NYT: Picasso fetches record $106.5m

By Spear's

A painting that Picasso created in a single day in March 1932 became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction on Tuesday night.

A painting that Picasso created in a single day in March 1932 became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction on Tuesday night.

In an overflowing salesroom at Christie’s, six bidders vied for “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” which depicts the artist’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, reclining naked. When the canvas last changed hands, in 1951, it sold for $19,800. But this time, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” brought $106.5 million.

For 8 minutes and 6 seconds, bidding rose steadily, with five people still competing at $80 million. Nicholas Hall, of Christie’s old master paintings department in New York, took the winning bid for an unidentified buyer.

“Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” broke the record set a few months ago by “Walking Man I” — one of Alberto Giacometti’s signature bronze sculptures. It brought $104.3 million at Sotheby’s in London in February. Picasso had reigned before that when “Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice),” a 1905 canvas from the artist’s Rose Period, sold for $104.1 million at Sotheby’s in New York in 2004.

To read the full story, visit nytimes.com

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