Les Femmes d'Alger (Women of Algiers) Version O

Les Femmes d’Alger (Women of Algiers) is a series of 15 paintings and numerous drawings by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The series, created in 1954- 1955, was inspired by Eugene Delacroix’s 1834 paintings The Women of Algiers in their Apartment (French: Femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement). The series is one of several painted by Picasso in tribute to artists he admired.

The entire series of Les Femmes d’Alger was bought by Victor and Sally Ganz from the Galeire Louise Leiris in Paris for $212,500 in June 1956 (equivalent to $2 million in 2018). Ten painting from the series were later sold by the Ganz’s to Saidenberg Gallery, with couple keeping versions “C”, “H”, “K”, “M” and “O”.

Version O is the last painting in the series, was painted in 1955. The painting sold for $31.9 million in November 1997, as part of the Ganz collection, at Christie’s in New York. Three versions in the series owned by the Ganz family were also auctioned at the same time. Version O was bought by the British art dealer Libby Howie, for an undisclosed Saudi Arabian collector living in London.

Version O was auctioned at Christie’s New York for second time in May 2015, and was expected to set a world record price for a work of art at auction. A pre-sale valuation of $140 million was placed by Christie’s on the painting, one of the highest ever placed on auction artwork. The painting was sold for $179.4 million a record price at auction. It was bought by the former Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The following are his famous paintings.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso    Young Ladies of Avignon