Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

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Nude, Green Leaves and Bust
French: Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur
Nude Green Leaves and Bust by Picasso.jpg
ArtistPablo Picasso
Year1932 (1932)
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions162 cm × 130 cm (64 in × 51 in)
LocationPrivate collection (Currently on long-term loan to Tate Modern)

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (French: Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur) is a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso, featuring his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter.

The painting was in the personal collection of Los Angeles art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody for nearly six decades. It sold at auction for US$106.5 million, the third highest price for a piece of artwork sold at auction at the time.[1]


Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is one of a series of portraits that Picasso painted of his mistress and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter from 1932. The vibrant blue and lilac canvas is more than 5 feet (1.5 m) tall.

At the time, Picasso was in an exclusive contractual relationship with noted impressionist and post-impressionist French-Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg, who bought the painting direct from his friend. With the increasing tones of an approaching war, in the late 1930s Rosenberg started to distribute works from his 2,000+ piece collection around the world, and used the 1939 New York World's Fair as the excuse to ship the painting outside France. After the 1940 Nazi invasion of France, on reaching New York via Lisbon in September 1940, Rosenberg opened a new branch of his noted gallery on East 57th street and put the painting back on display.

From there it was bought by the Brodys in 1951, and was publicly exhibited only once in 1961, to commemorate Picasso's 80th birthday.[2][3]


Frances Brody died in November 2009. On May 4, 2010, the painting was sold at Christie's in New York City, who won the rights to auction the collection against London-based Sotheby's. The collection as a whole was valued at over US$150 million, while the work was originally expected to earn $80 million at auction.[4]

There were eight bidders at the auction house, while the winning bid was taken via telephone for $95 million.[3] Including the buyer's premium, the price reached US$106.5 million.[5] When inflation is ignored, the painting broke the record price for an art work sold at auction until it was surpassed by the selling of The Scream on May 2, 2012 for US$120 million.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bringing home the Bacon". The Economist. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  2. ^ BBC News, May 5, 2010; AFP wire story, May 3, 2010.
  3. ^ a b The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2010.
    a "[The painting] come[s] from the estate of Frances Brody, a Los Angeles-based collector who filled her mid-century Modernist home with masterworks that she rarely lent to museums or showed to the public. She and her late husband, Sidney Brody, bought the painting in 1951 and only exhibited it once in the U.S., in 1961, to commemorate the artist's 80th birthday."
    b "In a dogged contest at the auction house's Rockefeller Center salesroom, the bidding for Picasso's 'Nude' began at $58 million and shot up quickly, with eight bidders competing for the jewel-toned, 5-by-4-foot painting. Christie's specialist Nicholas Hall, who often advises collectors of Old Master paintings, fielded the winning bid from the unknown buyer over a telephone."
  4. ^ The New York Times, March 9, 2010.
  5. ^ The New York Times, May 6, 2010.
  6. ^ Michaud, Chris (3 May 2012). ""The Scream" sells for record $120 million at auction". Reuters. Retrieved 3 May 2012.