PICASSO on sale

PICASSO - Child with a dove

PICASSO´s "Child with a dove" to be sold by Christie´s

An important early work by Pablo Picasso painted when he was just 20 has been put up for sale by its owners and is estimated to be worth around $80 million (GPB 50 million, €60 million).

PICASSO - Child with a dove"Child with a Dove, probably painted near the end of 1901, is the first of the series of canvases that comprise Picasso's Blue Period. Child with a Dove, one of Picasso's earliest paintings, was created in Paris before the age of 21. The piece comes at the beginning of the Picasso Blue Period, a clear difference from earlier works.

The child holds the dove closely and stands in front of a subdued background and next to a multi-colored ball. In Child with a Dove, there seems to be a clear sense of innocence and almost sympathy for the young child, a subject much unlike some of his other artwork. This style would start to be found in future Picasso paintings. The canvas (28 3/4" x 21 1/4") is painted in thick layers of paint and may have been painted over an earlier picture.

"Child with a Dove" will go on sale after its owners, the aristocratic North Wales Aberconway family, asked auction house Christie’s to find a buyer for the piece. Auctioneer Christie’s confirmed it had been instructed to find a buyer for a private sale, keeping the deal away from the attention an open auction would inevitably bring.

But anyway, keeping the painting in the UK and on public display could prove difficult given the prohibitively high price tag and the fact that the National Gallery, one of the country’s most important collections, has run down its financial reserves in recent years.