Sotheby’s Has Won the Coveted Collection of the Late Art Patron Emily Fisher Landau, Led By a $120 Million Picasso

The star lot is a remarkable 1932 Picasso estimated to sell "in excess of $120 million."

Pabo Picasso. Femme à la montre (Woman With a Watch) (1932). Courtesy Sotheby's

Sotheby’s has emerged victorious in the battle to secure the collection of the late Emily Fisher Landau, the noted art patron who died in March at the age of 102.

The trove will be the premiere single-collector offering of the fall auction season in New York this November. Christie’s and Sotheby’s had been vying for the consignment.

The star lot of the group is Pablo Picasso’s Femme à la montre (Woman With a Watch), a 1932 portrait of the artist’s young lover Marie-Therese Walter, which is estimated to achieve “in excess of $120 million,” according to a statement from Sotheby’s.

The year is considered Picasso’s “annus mirabilis,” a year so important for the artist that an entire exhibition dedicated to it was mounted at the Tate Modern in 2018. Major Picasso works from 1932 are now all worth between $100 million and $200 million, according to a dealer who staged another exhibition comprised solely of them. No such pieces have come to auction since 2010, when a large-scale painting, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, from the collection of Los Angeles patrons Sydney and Frances Brody, fetched a record-setting $106 million.

Multiple sources in the auction houses said the Landau works were valued at $500 million, all told. Sotheby’s said in its official release that it’s “in excess of $400 million for the collection’s overall estimate.”

Other notable works from the collection include a major Mark Rothko from 1958, an Ed Ruscha (Landau had the largest assemblage of his work in private hands and visited his studio often), a Jasper Johns Flag work (one of only four ever to be offered at auction), and an Andy Warhol self-portrait, completed just months before the artist’s death.

With the art market in contraction, all eyes will be on the Landau sale. The calamitous Gerald Fineberg salethis spring inaugurated the correction when it totaled $153 million on an estimate of $163 million to $235 million, falling short of its presale target range even after Christie’s fees were added to the hammer result of $124.7 million.

More Trending Stories:  

A Woman Bought a $4 Painting at a Thrift Store for Its Frame. Now, It’s Been Revealed as an N.C. Wyeth, Worth as Much as $250,000 

An Eagle-Eyed Hilma af Klint Fan Claims That Tate Hung a Painting Upside Down. The Artist’s Foundation Has Vowed to Investigate 

7 of the Best Artworks of Armory Week 2023, From Arresting Paintings by a 26-Year-Old Instragram Phenom to Elevated Interpretations of Outdoor Recliners 

Madrid’s Reina Sofia Has Reversed Its Ban on Taking Photos With Picasso’s Famous ‘Guernica’ in a Bid to Control the Crowds 

Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and For How Much—at Frieze Seoul 2023 

What I Buy and Why: Philanthropist Dow Kim Started Collecting 25 Years Ago With a Marc Chagall Painting and Hasn’t Looked Back 

Artists to Watch This Month: 10 Solo Gallery Exhibitions to Seek Out in September in New York 


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
  • Access the data behind the headlines with the artnet Price Database.

artnet and our partners use cookies to provide features on our sites and applications to improve your online experience, including for analysis of site usage, traffic measurement, and for advertising and content management. See our Privacy Policy for more information about cookies. By continuing to use our sites and applications, you agree to our use of cookies.

Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In