Artwork from cubist master Pablo Picasso found on the walls at Picasso, the French restaurant from Julian Serrano at the Bellagio, goes up for sale in October in an auction from Sotheby’s. MGM Resorts says the live auction on Saturday, October 23, marks the first time in North America that Sotheby’s hosts an evening auction outside its New York venue.
MGM Resorts International says the auction of Picasso’s paintings, ceramics, and drawings will help the company diversify its artwork portfolio with more inclusive works. “While diversity has long been in MGM Resorts’ DNA, we are committed to creating an even more inclusive collection that maintains the breadth of our existing portfolio while giving a greater voice to artists from under-represented communities,” says Ari Kastrati, MGM Resorts’ chief hospitality officer.
The 11 works with an estimated value of $104 million hang inside Picasso. The painter created the one of the most expensive, Homme et Enfant, in 1969 toward the end of his career. For now, the piece estimated to sell between $20 million and $30 million hangs over a sideboard in the restaurant’s lounge. A portrait of Picasso’s muse, Marie Thérèse Walter, could go for $20 million to $30 million. Picasso kept Femme au béret rouge-orange, considered highly personal and painted in the 1930s, in his private collection for decades. For now, it hangs above a sideboard at the French restaurant.
Buste d’Homme, estimated between $10 million and $15 million and painted from January 5, 1969, to February 2, 1970, sits behind the restaurant’s bar.
Diners can find Picasso’s 1942 still life Nature Morte au Panier de Fruits et aux Fleurs, estimated to sell between $10 million and $15 million, hanging next to 1943’s Nature Morte aux Fleurs et au Compotier, estimated to sell for $6 million to $8 million, hanging side by side over a banquette. Picasso painted both during the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1942.
Other works found at Picasso as well as in the auction include a white terra cotta pitcher from 1954, estimated in value between $60,000 and $80,000 and a gouache on paper called Tête d’Homme from 1967, which could go for $1.5 million to $2 million.
Those who want to see the pieces without dining on the warm quail salad or sauteed medallions of fallow deer can head to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art for a free exhibition October 21-23.
Picasso the restaurant will continue to operate, with 12 additional Picassos from the MGM Resorts collection adorning the walls. “Picasso is a beloved part of the Bellagio experience,” a spokesperson from MGM Resorts says. “Julian Serrano has created a very special dining environment and we look forward to continuing to welcome guests. Following the auction, we will still have a wonderful collection of Picasso works within the restaurant. We will make minor décor adjustments within the space, but will continue to deliver the Picasso dining experience that is so beloved by our guests.”
• All Coverage of Picasso [ELV]