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Over the decades, Dubai, and the UAE as a whole, have diligently nurtured a thriving and dynamic art scene. This region has emerged as a focal point for contemporary artworks and creative expression. Dubai proudly presents a diverse spectrum of art exhibitions, ranging from timeless classics to cutting-edge showcases, exemplified by renowned institutions like Madame Tussaud’s Dubai and the Museum of the Future.

Contributing to the vibrant art landscape of Dubai, Sotheby’s Dubai is presently hosting an exhibition showcasing an exceptionally rare gem: Pablo Picasso’s iconic 1932 masterpiece, “Femme à la Montre.” As per Wego‘s research, this remarkable artwork is estimated to hold a value of USD 120 million.

This marks the painting’s first public display outside the United States in the last fifty years, and the first stop on its global tour, which includes stops in other vibrant art destinations like Hong Kong and Tokyo. Ultimately, the masterpiece will find its way to Sotheby’s New York for auction in November.

Get to know the Femme à la Montre

Pablo Picasso’s Femme à la Montre, translated as “Woman with a Watch” in English, emerged from the artist’s prolific career in 1932, a period marked by resounding success and creative prowess. This remarkable painting, depicting one of his renowned muses, commands attention with its grand scale and a captivating palette of bold colors, embracing elements of surrealism.

As you prepare to witness the captivating beauty of this painting in person, allow us to introduce you to some intriguing facts that will enhance your appreciation of this masterpiece.

Picasso’s rivalry with Matisse

In June of 1932, the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris hosted a momentous event – the first comprehensive retrospective of Pablo Picasso’s work. This exhibition marked a pivotal juncture in his illustrious career, yet it unfolded against the backdrop of a competitive rivalry with the eminent French artist Henri Matisse. Picasso’s unwavering resolve to establish his artistic legacy ahead of Matisse prompted him to embark on a transformative journey, resulting in the creation of iconic works like Femme à la Montre.

Picasso’s Golden Muse

Femme à la Montre is a captivating portrait of the French model, Marie-Thérèse Walter, who earned the title of Picasso’s ‘golden muse.’ She served as the inspiration for some of the artist’s most renowned portraits. Their relationship, intricate and shrouded in secrecy, is poignantly captured in this painting, underscoring the profound significance she held in Picasso’s life.

Previous ownership

The illustrious Femme à la Montre was once in the possession of the esteemed New York philanthropist, Emily Fisher Landau, who acquired the masterpiece in 1968.

Estimated value

As previously mentioned, the current valuation of the painting stands at an astounding USD 120 million. This remarkable valuation crowns it as the most valuable painting ever to grace the United Arab Emirates’ art scene, surpassing Sotheby’s Dubai’s earlier exhibition featuring an exceptionally rare Renaissance masterpiece by Botticelli, which commanded an unprecedented USD 92.2 million.

Excitement is building as the painting is slated to go under the gavel during an eagerly anticipated auction scheduled for November 8 and 9 at Sotheby’s in New York. Art enthusiasts from around the world, including the UAE, are poised to converge, ensuring a global audience for this grand event.

The exhibition venue

Art aficionados and connoisseurs are cordially invited to embark on a captivating journey through the realm of fine art at Sotheby’s Dubai. Nestled within the prestigious Dubai International Financial Centre, specifically in Gate Village Building 3, this exclusive exhibition promises a feast for the senses.

In a gesture of artistic goodwill, admission to this unparalleled exhibition is entirely complimentary. Head to Sotheby’s Dubai, Gate Village Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, today, from 10 AM to 7 PM, and revel in the mesmerizing creation of the globally renowned artist, Pablo Picasso.