The Arts

August 19, 2017


VISUAL SPOTLIGHT:  La Rêve (The Dream)

Artist: Pablo Picasso
Year: 1932
Price: $155 million


La Rêve (The Dream) is one of Picasso’s most sensual and famous paintings, said to have been painted in one afternoon, on January 24, 1932, at the age of 50.  It depicts her lover, 24-year-old Marie-Therese Walter, sitting on a red armchair with her eyes closed.

The buyer who purchased Le Rêve at Christie’s in 1997 appears to have been the Austrian-born investment fund manager, Wolfgang Flöttl. In 2001, under financial pressure, Wolfgang Flöttl sold Le Rêve to casino magnate Steve Wynn for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be about $60 million.

In 2006, Steve Wynn agreed to sell the painting to Steven Cohen for $139 million, but the sale was cancelled when Mr. Wynn accidentally damaged the work.

The erotic quality of La Rêve has been interpreted in various ways by various art critics and reviewers. One said that Picasso painted an erect penis, his own penis, in the upturned face of his model.