Il dipinto, “Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto”, è datato 1903 e fa parte del cosiddetto “periodo blu” dell’artista. Picasso conobbe Angel, artista a sua volta, nel 1899 nel famoso caffè “Els 4 Gats”, un punto di incontro per artisti che frequentavano entrambi tra la fine del XIX secolo e i primi anni del XX. E’ stimato tra i 30 e i 40 milioni di sterline e l’intero ricavato andrà in beneficenza alla Fondazione Andrew Lloyd Webber (fondata dal celebre compositore nel 1992).
Jussi Pylkkänen, President of Christie’s Europe, Russia and the Middle East: “We are honoured to offer Picasso’s portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto at auction in June on behalf of ‘The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation’. This is one of the most important works of art to be offered at auction in decades, and the opportunity to acquire such a masterpiece of 20th century art is sure to prompt great excitement amongst collectors and institutions around the world. It is worth celebrating the fact that all proceeds from this historic sale will benefit arts, culture and heritage in Britain. The art market has changed radically since the purchase of the painting by the Foundation in 1995. Collectors have become ever more focused on iconic museum quality works and, as we witnessed in last year’s sales from the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, there is a huge appetite for 20th Century modernism. These Blue Period paintings by Picasso, executed when the artist was in his early 20s, paved the way for all the great modernist movements of the 20th Century. Consequently it is a painting which has the broadest possible appeal and could find its proper place in any major museum or private collection. This masterpiece from arguably Picasso’s greatest period is sure to ignite huge interest when it is sold at Christie’s in London in June”.
Mark Wordsworth, Chairman of the Trustees of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation: “The Trustees of ‘The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation’ are delighted to announce that they are finally in a position to proceed with the sale of Picasso’s exceptional Blue Period masterpiece, Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, 1903. The decision to sell the Picasso was made in 2006 because the Trustees felt that the proceeds from the sale could be returned to the Foundation to benefit a variety of charitable projects. This reasoning still holds true today. The market for a painting such as this is currently so strong that the Trustees believe that to have such a huge amount of money locked up in one painting which could be used for other causes is hard to justify.”