• The extremely rare 1932 portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter is on view to the public in the DIFC today and on Tuesday 26 September (10am-7pm), before it travels on to Hong Kong and London. It will then return to New York, where it will be auctioned in November, with an estimate in excess of $120 million.

H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture & Youth, UAE: “H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture & Youth, UAE: “Over the years the UAE has earned the status of being a global art destination, which receives a further boost as this rare Picasso is unveiled here. Art enthusiasts and collectors in the UAE will have the privilege of viewing the masterpiece first before it sets out on a world tour. We commend Sotheby’s for choosing the UAE as the first stop for the Picasso masterpiece, which returns for exhibition outside of America after 50 years. Dubai’s hosting of the rare Picasso underscores its importance in attracting the best of art and its role in furthering the global art movement.

We welcome such endeavours that boost the local communities’ engagement with the international art world and help foster a stronger cultural and creative ecosystem. It is a way to inform and educate the upcoming generation of artists about the power of creativity and the value it holds. The flourishing art community in the nation owes its success to a blend of local and international influences. We are committed to further enhancing the global art landscape by fostering a culture of collaboration and exchange.”

Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts & Literature Sector at Dubai Culture: “The presentation of Picasso's extraordinary masterpiece in Dubai underscores the UAE's global significance and amplifies our commitment to nurturing a thriving art ecosystem. This exhibition enriches our cultural landscape and demonstrates our dedication to providing world-class artistic experiences to our local and international audiences. It also cements Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent, fostering a vibrant cultural scene that resonates across borders and celebrates art's transformative power.”

Sotheby’s has been continuing its commitment to showcase the best of the best of its worldwide offerings to the region for a number of years. In 2020, Sotheby’s Dubai exhibited an extremely rare Renaissance painting by Botticelli, which later sold for a record-breaking $92.2 million. At the time, it marked the highest value painting ever to be brought to the Middle East by an auction house. Since then, the walls of Sotheby’s Dubai gallery have hosted the best of the best works by the likes of Boetti, Wassily Kandinsky, Andy Warhol and more. Earlier this year, Sotheby’s Dubai also exhibited the record-breaking Estrela de Fura: 55.22 ruby and the Eternal Pink diamond, which were exhibited in Dubai and sold in New York this summer for $34.8 million each.

The unveiling of this Picasso overtakes the record set by Botticelli, and marks the first time a painting of this calibre by the world-renowned artist has ever been exhibited in the UAE. It is its first exhibition outside of the US in over 50 years, and the first stop of its world tour prior to its auction at Sotheby’s New York in early November, as part of the collection of pioneering patron Emily Fisher Landau.  

Sotheby’s Dubai was officially launched by the global auction house in March 2017. A go to destination for Arts and Luxury, the gallery is located in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre, at Gate Village Building 3. The company hosts a programme of year-round events, including selling and non-selling exhibitions, events and talks reflecting the spectrum of Sotheby's international sales and extensive client services.

About Sotheby’s

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Design, as well as collectible cars and real estate. Sotheby’s believes in the transformative power of art and culture and is committed to making our industries more inclusive, sustainable and collaborative.

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* Estimates do not include buyer's premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer's premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

Stream live auctions and place bids in real time, discover the value of a work of art, browse sale catalogues, view original content and more at sothebys.com, and by downloading Sotheby's app for iOS and Android.

About the Ministry of Culture and Youth:

The Ministry of Culture and Youth works to enrich the cultural ecosystem of the UAE by supporting the country’s cultural, art and heritage institutions. It provides a platform for artists and innovators, promotes cross-cultural dialogue, and delivers dynamic productions and experiences that represent the UAE’s rich and eclectic culture on national as well as international level. The Ministry’s key mandates include investing in youth and empowering them and building a knowledge-based economy for a sustainable future.

For more information, please visit the Ministry’s website www.mcy.gov.ae/en

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is committed to enriching Dubai’s cultural scene based on the UAE’s heritage, and is building bridges of constructive dialogue between various cultures to enhance Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

Dubai Culture is keen on reviving and preserving the emirate's historical heritage and developing the regulatory frameworks for the cultural and creative sector in line with its strategic roadmap 2020 – 2026.

The Authority also seeks to empower the enablers that seek to support talent and stimulate active participation from society members by investing in the various cultural and heritage assets under its remit, including the management of six heritage sites, five museums, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children and eight Dubai Public Library branches, all of which help contribute to creating an economic system that stimulates the cultural and creative industries.

For more information, please visit the Authority's website www.dubaiculture.gov.ae