Pablo Picasso portrait of Dora Maar
‘Femme dans un fauteuil’, a Pablo Picasso portrait of Dora Maar from 1942 that will be offered at Christie’s King Street in June.

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At the most recent auction series in this category in London, around a dozen works by the Spanish painter were knocked down to a single bidder – art advisory and brokerage firm Gurr Johns.

While the most expensive of those purchases in February was a 1937 portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter that sold for £44m at Sotheby’s, the work at Christie’s sale on June 20 is a 1942 portrait of Picasso’s later muse Dora Maar.

The painting is titled Femme dans un fauteuil and, although the estimate is undisclosed, it is believed the picture is being pitched at £18m-22m.

Rarely seen work

The wartime portrait has been rarely exhibited having remained in the artist’s family for many years. It was kept in the artist’s collection until his death after which it passed to his second wife, Jacqueline Picasso.

It was later sold through the agency of Picasso’s dealer, Galerie Louise Leiris in Paris but was not publicly exhibited until 1986.