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Picasso portrait sells for $95.2 million

‘Dora Maar,’ depicting artist's mistress, is 2nd-highest sale of his work
/ Source: The Associated Press

A portrait by Pablo Picasso of the woman who influenced him in the late 1930s and early 1940s sold for $95.2 million, the second-highest amount ever paid for a painting at auction, the auction house Sotheby’s said.

“Dora Maar au chat,” which depicts Picasso’s mistress, went to an anonymous buyer in the room who was competing with telephone bidders during Wednesday’s auction.

Its selling price ranked second only to another Picasso piece, “Garcon a la pipe,” which sold at Sotheby’s for more than $104 million in May 2004, the auction house said.

Also sold were paintings by Monet and Renoir that once hung in a lavish Fifth Avenue apartment used by former Tyco CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski.

The two paintings, Monet’s “Pres Monte Carlo” and Renoir’s “Fleurs et Fruits,” were among items from the apartment listed in documents filed in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court, where Kozlowski was convicted last year of grand larceny and other charges.

“Pres Monte Carlo,” an Impressionist landscape of sea, sky and lush greenery, went to an anonymous buyer for about $5.1 million, Sotheby’s said.

“Fleurs et Fruits,” a still life of peaches and other fruits arranged around a blue vase holding bright orange flowers, fetched $2.8 million. A Sotheby’s spokeswoman said no buyer information for the piece was available.

Prosecutors said it was unclear to them whether the canvases were owned by Tyco International Ltd. or Kozlowski. Any money that is due Kozlowski would almost certainly be used to pay fines, restitution and possible civil judgments, they said.