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    Picasso's mistress fetches £25 million


    by ODN


    A Pablo Picasso portrait of his teenage mistress has sold for £25.2 million at auction.

    La Lecture, bought anonymously, fetched more than double its low estimate of £12 million at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art sale in London.

    Painted in 1932, the painting depicts Picasso's 17-year-old lover Marie-Therese Walter asleep in an armchair.

    She was also the inspiration for Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, which sold for a world record for any art at any auction of £69.8 million, in New York in May last year.

    The couple's relationship was a well-guarded secret for many years due to the fact that Picasso was married to Russian-Ukrainian dancer Olga Khokhlova and because of Walter's young age.

    Le Maitre D'Ecole by Rene Magritte also sold for £2.2 million in Tuesday's auction, breaking the previous record for his work on paper, £1.2 million, which was the expected sale.

    Other notable works going under the hammer included Claude Monet's Argenteuil, Fin D'Apres-Midi and Alberto Giacometti's Grande Buste de Diego avec Bras.

    In total, the auction raised £68,834,400.