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Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s painting, printing, and ceramics established him as among the most influential artists of the 20th century, transforming Modern art history forever. If you’re looking for original Picasso prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.

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In terms of fame and influence on Modern art, Pablo Picasso is in a league of his own. During a career spanning the best part of a century, Picasso produced around 50,000 artworks in a variety of media, ranging from painting to ceramics, and in a ground-breaking variety of styles.

Born in 1881 in Málaga, Picasso – whose first words were reportedly ‘piz piz’, in reference to the Spanish word for ‘pencil’ (‘lápiz’) – proved his ability to paint since the age of 3. At the age of 8, the artist produced Le Petit Picador Jaune, a gestural depiction of a Spanish bullfight. At the age of 14, Picasso was accepted by La Lotja, a prestigious art school where his father taught.

In 1897, Picasso moved to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando. He was just 16. Commenting on his formative years, Picasso later stated, ‘I never drew like a child. When I was 12, I drew like Raphael’.

In 1900, Picasso made his first visit to Paris – a city he would later call home. During the early 20th century, Picasso split his time between Paris and Barcelona, producing artworks which would become part of the artist’s famous ‘Blue Period’ (1901-1904).

During this time, he painted The Old Guitarist, which has become one of Picasso’s most famous works. Depicting a cross-legged, ghost-like figure, head downcast in apparent sorrow as they play the guitar, the sombre painting was created in 1903 as a response to the suicide of Picasso’s close friend, Catalan painter Carlos Casagemas. Its colour and composition reflect the misery of this early period in Picasso’s career, during which the artist was living in poverty in Paris, burning his paintings in an attempt to stay warm.

During Picasso’s subsequent ‘Rose Period’ (1904-1905), the artist became a favourite of American art collectors Gertrude and Leo Stein, who became his patron and introduced him to Henri Matisse. By 1907, Picasso joined the gallery of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, one of the most prolific French collectors of the 20th century.

With friend and collaborator Georges Braque, Picasso developed Cubism, forever changing the course of art history. Rendered in Picasso’s Cubist style is one of the most famous artworks in history, Guernica (1937). The oil painting depicts the bombing, on the 26th of April 1937, of the Basque town by the forces of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. One of the most horrifying episodes of the Spanish Civil War, the bombing razed the city to the ground. Picasso’s depiction of the atrocities was exhibited at the 1937 Paris International Exposition; later, Guernica toured internationally, with all funds generated contributing to the Spanish war relief.

Record prices

Painting by Pablo Picasso, depicting women of Algiers in their apartment. The women are structurally deconstructed into angular shapes. The forms are depicted in blues, greens, yellows, red and black.

Image © Christie's / Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 'O') © Pablo Picasso 1955

1. £116.2M for Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 'O') (1955)

Inspired by an Algerian harem, Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger (Version 'O') portrays abstracted figures engaging with a hookah for smoking hash and opium. The painting encapsulates the essence of 19th century sex, radiating sensuality and orientalism. This series, drawn from Picasso's exploration of Delacroix's 'femmes' during 1954–55, comprised nearly 100 paper studies and 14 other paintings, with 'Version O' recognised as the masterpiece among them.

With its swirling maelstrom of colours and shattered, flattened perspectives, Picasso forged a new style of painting through this work. Having a provenance rooted in prestigious private collections, this painting has appeared at auction twice. It initially changed hands at Christie's in 1997 for £18.8 million and later reemerged in May 2015, setting a record for Picasso at auction with a staggering £116,228,520.

Painting by Pablo Picasso depicting a woman, deconstructed into curvaceous forms of cream, green, yellow, powder blue against a red chair and cobalt blue background.

Image © Sotheby's / Femme à la montre © Pablo Picasso 1932

2. £113.4M for Pablo Picasso's Femme À La Montre (1932)

In November 2023, Picasso’s Femme À La Montre sold for a staggering £113,374,995 ($139,363,500) including fees at Sotheby’s New York.

Created in 1932, during the height of Picasso's fervent love affair, Femme À La Montre stands as a particularly refined and intricate representation from this emotionally intense year. This was a time when Picasso, driven by the presence of his new muse and the intense emotions he felt during her absence, produced art with unrelenting passion, treating each piece as a diary entry that captured the evolution of their romance.

The artwork portrays an elegantly dressed young woman sitting in an armchair, set against a vivid blue backdrop. After the hustle of his Paris retrospective had subsided, Picasso found solace and creative freedom in Boisgeloup, allowing for a richer detail and complexity in this work than those from earlier months, making it an extraordinary depiction of his beloved Golden Muse.

Painting by Pablo Picasso of a nude girl, with dark hair, holding red flowers against a powder blue background.

Image © Christie's / Fillette à la corbeille fleurie © Pablo Picasso 1905

3. £84.8M for Pablo Picasso's Fillette À La Corbeille Fleurie (1905)

In Fillette À La Corbeille Fleurie, Picasso portrays a girl on the brink of adulthood, capturing a pivotal moment that marks the shift from innocence to experience, a recurring motif in the artist's Rose Period. In his depiction of Linda, Picasso employs a classical approach, using clean, simple lines to outline the figure, imbuing the scene with an air of innocence and purity. This stylistic choice serves as a facade, subtly hinting at the underlying difficulties of her life despite the outward simplicity.

This poignant portrait became Picasso's third highest auction price to date when it sold at Christie's New York in May 2018 for $115,000,000 (£84,826,300) including fees.

Painting by Pablo Picasso depicting a seated woman. The figure is deconstructed into simple curvaceous forms. She is wearing red and green clothing, and is sat on a black chair, by a window, against a blue and grey background.

Image © Christie's / Femme assise près d'une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) © Pablo Picasso 1932

4. £73.7M for Pablo Picasso's Femme Assise Près d'Une Fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) (1932)

In May 2021 at Christie’s New York 20th century evening sale, Picasso’s Femme Assise Près d'Une Fenêtre sold for a remarkable $103,410,000 (£73,673,937) including fees. Picasso completed the monumental portrait in 1932, marking the zenith of a prolific year with Marie-Thérèse Walter as his paramount muse.

In this grand portrayal, Marie-Thérèse assumes a regal and dominating presence, embodying an almost divine figure who transcends the canvas to engage directly with the viewer, asserting a celestial dominance that positions us as mere onlookers. Picasso shifts away from depicting her as a passive, reclining nude to presenting her as a commanding presence, fully clothed and seated, her penetrating gaze confirming her sovereign role over both the artist and his artistic domain.

Painting by Pablo Picasso depicting a reclining nude female figure, a leafy green plant and a bust in front of a blue curtain.

Image © Christie's / Nude, Green Leaves and Bust © Pablo Picasso 1932

5. £69.8M for Pablo Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932)

In May 2010, at Christie's New York, Picasso's 1932 painting Nude, Green Leaves and Bust sold for $106,482,500 (£69,841,872) including fees.
The towering portrait, over 5 feet tall, painted by Picasso in 1932, features his mistress and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter amidst a backdrop of vibrant blue and lilac. At that time, Picasso had an exclusive deal with the distinguished art dealer Paul Rosenberg, who acquired the painting directly. As the threat of war loomed in the late 1930s, Rosenberg strategically moved this piece among others overseas under the guise of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Following the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, Rosenberg, having relocated to New York, established a new gallery on East 57th Street where he promptly showcased this significant work. Thus, the portrait stands as a symbol the resilience and enduring influence of Modern Art amidst the backdrop of war.

Painting by Pablo Picasso depicting an adolescent boy who holds a pipe in his left hand and wears a garland of flowers on his head. In the background two floral wall murals are positioned behind the figure to resemble wings.

Image © Sotheby's / Garçon à la pipe © Pablo Picasso 1905

6. £58.1M for Pablo Picasso's Garçon À La Pipe (1905)

Garçon À La Pipe by Picasso portrays a youthful Parisian clad in blue, clutching a pipe, and adorned with a rose garland. This 39x32 inch canvas is celebrated as an exquisite portrayal of young allure. The subject is believed to have been a boy nicknamed P'tit Louis, frequently seen around Picasso's Montmartre studio.

On 5 May 2004, the painting sold for a staggering US$104,168,000 (£58,073,660). At the time of the sale, it set the record as the most expensive artwork ever sold.

Painting by Pablo Picasso, depicting his muse and lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, as a curvaceous sea creature in cream with a black outline. The figure is set against a pale blue background on a green and brown surface.

Image © Sotheby's / Femme Nue Couchée © Pablo Picasso 1932

7. £54.1M for Pablo Picasso's Femme Nue Couchée (1932)

Femme Nue Couchée stands as one of Picasso’s most grandiose and unrestrained depictions of his muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, combining painterly brilliance, vitality, and a bold transformation of the human figure. In May 2022 at Sotheby’s New York, the artwork sold for $67,541,000 (£54,109,121) including fees.

This masterpiece encapsulates Picasso’s revolutionary work from the late 1920s and early 1930s in a vibrant, energetic composition. Set within the private confines of his new residence in Boisgeloup, the painting captures the nude Marie-Thérèse in an abstract setting, her form radiating fertility, sensuality, and elegance. Femme Nue Couchée represents the pinnacle of Picasso’s prolific year in 1932.

Painting by Pablo Picasso depicting Dora Maar, the artist's lover, seated on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulders.

Image © Sotheby's / Dora Maar Au Chat © Pablo Picasso 1941

8. £52.0M for Pablo Picasso's Dora Maar Au Chat (1941)

On May 3, 2006, Picasso's Dora Maar Au Chat achieved a sale price of $95,216,000 (£52,016,501) at Sotheby’s New York, including buyer's fees. Created in 1941 during the onset of World War II in France and at the peak of Picasso and Maar's tumultuous relationship, this piece stands out for its comprehensive and energetically balanced portrayal.

A key focus of the painting is the hat, Maar's trademark accessory, which reflects her ties to the Surrealist movement. Adorned with vivid flowers and encircled by a bright red band, the hat is positioned on her head like a regal crown, marking one of the most decorated and symbolically rich elements of the portrait.

Painted portrait by Pablo Picasso, depicting Marie-Thérese Walter in fragmented angular shapes of green, white, orange, yellow and blue. She is wearing a crimson beret and is sat against a purple and black background.

Image © Sotheby's / Femme Au Béret Et À La Robe Quadrillée (Marie-Thérese Walter) © Pablo Picasso 1937

9. £49.8M for Pablo Picasso's Femme Au Béret Et À La Robe Quadrillée (Marie-Thérese Walter) (1937)

Femme Au Béret Et À La Robe Quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) exemplifies the innovative form and deep emotional resonance found in Picasso's most acclaimed female portraits, achieving £49,827,000 at Sotheby's London, fees included.

This piece presents the artist's muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, in profile with her features facing forward, a technique Picasso had developed in his earlier representations of her. The portrait is distinguished by its vibrant primary colors and bold application of paint, reflecting a departure from early 1930s portrayals and illustrating the evolution of Picasso's relationship with Marie-Thérèse. Notably, while Marie-Thérèse is clearly the subject, the painting hints at the growing influence of Picasso's new lover, Dora Maar, whom he met in early 1936 at the Café des Deux Magots.

Painted portrait by Pablo Picasso depicting a nude woman in a hunched position, standing in front of a greyish white and muted blue background.

Image © Sotheby's / La Gommeuse © Pablo Picasso 1901

10. £43.8M for Pablo Picasso's La Gommeuse (1901)

Pablo Picasso's La Gommeuse, a distinguished work from his Blue Period (1901-1904), is one of his most sought-after paintings from this phase.

Created in late 1901 after his successful exhibit at Vollard's gallery and influenced by the tragic suicide of his friend Casagemas, La Gommeuse features a captivating cabaret artist emblematic of the era's complex allure. She embodies both the enticement and the peril of her time, acting as a figure of deep sorrow and vibrant life. This piece was a standout at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale on November 5 in New York, fetching $67,450,000 (£43,781,795) including fees.

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