Picasso’s Daughter Is Donating Nine Artworks by Her Father to a Paris Museum to Settle a Tax Bill

The works will go on view at the museum in the spring of 2022.

France's financial and cultural ministers unveiling one of the works by Picasso. Courtesy of France Cultural Ministry.
France's financial and cultural ministers unveiling one of the works by Picasso. Courtesy of France Cultural Ministry.

The collection of Paris’s Picasso Museum, the world’s largest trove of works by the Spanish artist, is about to get even bigger.

The late artist’s daughter Maya Ruiz-Picasso will donate nine artworks by her father to the national collection next year as part of a tax inheritance settlement, Le Figaro reports, including six paintings, a sketchbook, and two sculptures. A 1970 law grants exceptions for the payment of certain taxes through the donation of highly valuable artistic or historic objects to the nation, according to Law360.

Maya Ruiz-Picasso is the daughter of Marie-Thérèse Walter, who met the artist in Paris in 1927 when she was 17 years old and he was 47 (and still married to his first wife, Olga Khokhlova). Both Marie-Thérèse and Maya modeled for Picasso, and their (fractured) likenesses appear in numerous portraits by the artist.

At a press conference on Monday, one of the works unveiled, Child with a Lollipop Sitting Under a Chair (1938), depicts Maya as a young girl in a striped shirt with a crown of curly hair sitting beneath a dining chair.

“What would France be without these foreign artists who brought their genius to our culture?” wrote France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, on Twitter. “It is an honor for our country to welcome new works by Picasso. They enrich and expand our cultural heritage.”

French culture minister Roselyne Bachelot added at the press conference: “It is with deep emotion that I come to celebrate the entry into the national collections of the works.” The new collection will go on view as group in the spring of 2022.

The collective value of the nine works went undisclosed. Picasso has consistently ranked among the top 10 highest=priced artists at auction, with total sales soaring above $350 million in the first half of 2021. In May, Picasso’s 1932 portrait Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) sold for a whopping $103.4 million at Christie’s.


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