1954 Picasso Crayon Drawing Has Been Sold


Last month, eNCA brought you the story of a 1954 original Picasso crayon drawing to be auctioned for the first time in South Africa.

Well, the artwork is now the property of a local art collector, who parted with a whopping 3 million rands for the piece.

Art enthusiasts flocked at Constantia’s Alphen Estate in Cape Town, to witness the auction.

“2.7 million rand anyone else for 2.7 million rand in the room before we go to the telephones at 2.7 million, now 2. 8 million. OVERLAY telephone bid now at 3. OVERLAY No advance at 3 million rand, telephone bidder at 3 million rand. Sold.”

At 3 million rand, this original 1954 Picasso crayon sketch, was sold to a South African bidder over the phone.

“He did a number of sketches at the time, at the theme of the circus. This one of the few works that were done on the theme of the circus but its deceptively simple. You look at it and think it’s really naïve. And then look a little bit deeper and look at the composition, the two figures from either side who look into the centre of the work. The perspective, the depth, the way the women is drawn is absolutely fantastic. It’s really a perfect profile.  So it looks simple, but it’s not. It was drawn by someone who knows what he is doing.” Anton Welz of Stephen Welz and Co said.

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The piece, titled “Au Cirque” is certainly well-travelled.

It was last sold in 2006, in New York for 240 thousand US dollars.

Welz said “I think a private buyer, very probably the buyer in New York either immigrated here or it was a South African purchaser who bought the work in 2006. Brought it across and it arrived here with us a few weeks ago and consigned by a Cape Town seller.”

But it was not only Pablo Picasso’s art that did well at the Stephen Welz and Co auction.

South African artists’ works also went under the hammer.

“Peter Clarke’s works did particularly well, Nelson Makamo showed rather well. So a number of good local artists delivered really good and solid results which indicates strength the in the South African art market.” Welz said.

Picasso’s rendering of this image was also a tribute to the works of Diego Velázquez and Rembrandt van Rijn, painters he had adored throughout his life.


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