Rare Picasso painting exhibited in Hong Kong

Indo Asian News Service

Hong Kong, Jan 30 (IANS) A rare Picasso painting depicting his French lover made its debut here at the start of a global tour and is expected to fetch $50 million.

The painting -- Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee (Marie-Therese Walter) -- will be offered for the first time as a star lot of Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London on February 28, Xinhua news agency reported.

James Mackie, head of the Impressionist & Modern Art Department in London, said the artwork which was completed in December 1937 and painted just months after his masterpiece Guernica and The Weeping Woman, emerges onto the market for the first time.

In the painting, a woman wears a beret and a red checkered dress. The work's sharp cubistic edges, thick impastoed paint and black outlines give it an immediate visual impact -- the emphatic execution and bold palette packed with emotional charge.

The painting will be on public display in Hong Kong till Friday. After that it will be taken to Taipei, New York and London.