Eleven Pablo Picasso artworks have been sold for a combined $109 million in a Las Vegas auction coinciding with the artist's 140th birthday.
The nine paintings and two ceramic pieces had been displayed inside the Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art for more than two decades until owner MGM Resorts decided earlier this year to sell them.
The Saturday event was organized by Sotheby's and marked the first time the famed auction house staged an evening marquee sale in North America outside its New York saleroom. It featured Picasso artworks from 1917 to 1969.
Auction officials said Picasso's 1938 portrait of his lover and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter entitled 'Femme au béret rouge-orange' ('Woman in a reddish-orange hat') sold for $40.5 million after a bidding battle, well above estimates of $20 million to $30 million.
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Pablo Picasso's 'Femme au béret rouge-orange,' ('Woman in a reddish-orange hat') pictured, sold for $40.5 million after a bidding battle, well above estimates of $20 million to $30 million
Pictured: 'Homme et enfant,' a 1959 work that is nearly two meters tall, sold for $24.4 million
Sotheby's and the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection hosted the auction, which raised $109 million from eleven pieces
Pablo Picasso's 'Tête d'homme barbu,' pictured, is displayed for auction at the Bellagio hotel and casino, which sold for 239,400 dollars during Sotheby's Picasso Masterworks sale
Pictured: Sotheby's auctioneer Oliver Barker poses before the Sotheby's 'Picasso: Masterworks From The MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection' auction at the Bellagio on October 23
The painting last sold at auction in the 1980s for around $900,000 and was acquired by casino mogul Steve Wynn in 1998 and became MGM Resorts' property when the company purchased The Mirage resort from Wynn.
The Picasso auction also featured two Cubist-inspired still life paintings from the early 1940s during World War II with 'Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs' selling for $16.6 million and 'Nature morte aux fleurs et au compotier' going for $8.3 million.
'Despite the destruction and hardship of World War Two, the years between 1940-44 resulted in one of Picasso's richest periods,' Sotheby's said.
Sotheby's art handlers prepare for the auction of Picasso: Masterworks from the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection on October 23, 2021 in Las Vegas
Pictured: Sotheby's art handlers work next to Picasso's 'Buste d'homme'
Barker, pictured, interacts with the audience during the Sotheby's 'Picasso: Masterworks From The MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection' auction, where 11 pieces of art were sold for $109 million
'Homme et enfant,' (man and infant) a 1959 work that is nearly two meters tall, sold for $24.4 million.
The names of the buyers have not been revealed.
In 2015, 'The Women of Algiers' set a record price for a Picasso painting or piece of artwork, going for $179.4 million, according to the BBC.
His 'Young Girl with a Flower Basket' fetched nearly-impressive $115 million in 2018.
'Nature morte aux fleurs et au compotier,' pictured, went for for $8.3 million
Pictured: 'Nature morte au panier de fruits et aux fleurs,' which sold for $16.6 million
Picasso's 'Buste d'homme,' which sold for 9.4 million dollars during Sotheby's Picasso Masterworks sale
In 2010, his 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust' went for $106.5 million, his 'Boy with a Pipe' sold for $104 million in 2004, and 'Woman Sitting Near a Window,' again featuring Thérèse Walter, went for $103.4 million earlier this year, the BBC reported.
Picasso lived from 1881 until 1973 and spent much of his adult life in France.
Over the course of more than 70 years as a working artist, Picasso is said to have created more than 13,000 paintings.
Organizers said the auction lasted about 45 minutes and drew about 150 people, with some seated in gold-framed chairs.