Major Picasso Harlequin Withdrawn from Auction

An important Pablo Picasso painting has been withdrawn from a Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art auction in New York. The 1909 work titled “Arlequin” was expected to make more than $30 million.

Recent art auctions in London, Sydney and Hong Kong have shown that the world financial crisis is knocking on the door of the art market. Sotheby’s says that the owners withdrew the painting for personal reasons.

Pablo Picasso Painting withdrawn from Sothebys

The harlequin painting was owned by the late Italian born American surrealist painter Enrico Donati. Donati paid $12,000 for the work back in the 1940s.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is this a ‘major’ or ‘important’ painting?

  2. It’s been in a private collection and hasn’t been seen by the public for 45 years. But the reason for withdrawing it from auction is also important. As Woopidoo reports, the fat cats are feeling the pinch and auction prices aren’t quite so insanely inflated as they were a year ago.

    I was going to blog this news, but I won’t bother now. Good, concise report, Woopidoo. Says it all.

  3. Donald Frazell says:

    It”s not an importatn or major painting, but being Picasso during the beginnings of Cubism, has its place in an educational facility. MuseumThe three forms of cubism being the forming the branches of modernism. The roots are the post Impressionists, and the grafting of modern scientific thought into our representation of the real world, as art is the reflection of us on a two dimensional plane. Not reality, but constituted in its complexity, yet simplicity in a different way sio we can examine and feel who we are, and what is true.

    This work is a transition from the original Cezannian cubism, to analytical cubism. Lady witha fan is a much better example, Picasso ahd originally gone more sculptural inan African way after demoiselles d”Avignon. Braque created all teh cubisms, thich Picasso then followed adn made his own, though braque is as great an artist, grosly underrated by the art world.

    The final cubism, Synthetic, was created by Braque using cut out wallpaper of wood grain. He waited for Picasso to leave their vacation so he could do it alone, picasso much more aggressive and quicker, then showed his final work to him later. Picasso knew they ahd arrived, and almost all later modern art came from that. Mine certainly does.

    So it is a significant, but not major, piece of art. All this happened in a 7 year period, a time a hundred times more creative than the last 40. Times were changing, the old Europe about to be consumed in flames during WWI, where Braque was severely wounded in the trenches. Men were men then, now? God knows, soft and wimpy, selfish and whiny, children who refuse to take responsibility action. We deserved Bush. We earned what has happened, what truly is only beggining to pan out. The poor will be hurt, not the middle class artistes, who will simply have to go work for daddy. How sad. LOL!


  4. It’s important because an auction house says it is I’m kidding.. kind

    It’s from a popular period in Picasso’s career, is of a popular subject, has a good provenance, and isn’t a bad painting. Any collector or art museum would LOVE to have this painting in their collection. Of course there are better paintings from this same period, but getting the owner to part with them could be a challenge.

  5. Donald Frazell says:

    I had never seen a reproduction of this one before, must be more out there. And anything of this time to be put up for sale would be extraordinarily rare, and of one of the two or three most intense times in art history. Its still a little obvious, working things out. Somethig I appreciate very much, unlike what is taught in art school, real art is not about coming up with some new style. It comes about as one esplores adn experiemnts with reality, trying to get art to reflect what is going on at that moment, as a culmination of history to that time.

    The New comes about because it has to. The artist is just creating what one feels going on around him, or her. Even though your homie Rober Hughes created “Shock of the New”. I always disagreed with his rationales. Being a crtic, how can he really know? He doesnt, but did know good art when he saw it, and bad, as he railed about Hirst, to no good end. Who cares, let the filthy rich blow their money. Our money, sob,sob,sob. Thats sonofabitch, not crying.

    So you got every graduating art student doing some dumb ass project “trying” to be new. Thats called BS, i think you know what that is. Raw Serrano.


  6. Oh, impressive.. from thousands to millions.. :))

  7. Yees, very impressive KG Woo ;-)

    I havent seen it either Donald. Pablo was a painting machine though, so I bet there’s a whole bunch of works that I havent seen before.

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