Art And Culture
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Unseen Frida Kahlo Painting for Sale After 60 Years

A man hangs a sign at Sotheby’s auction house in New York as Frida Kahlo’s 1929 self-portrait ‘Girl with Necklace’ sits on an easel. A man hangs a sign at Sotheby’s auction house in New York as Frida Kahlo’s 1929 self-portrait ‘Girl with Necklace’ sits on an easel.

A Frida Kahlo painting that has never been publicly exhibited and whose whereabouts had been a mystery will be auctioned on November 22 at Sotheby’s in New York.

‘Girl With Necklace’, a 1929 oil on canvas, will go on the auction block at Sotheby’s Latin American sale with an estimated value of $1.5 million to $2 million, Reuters reported.

“This painting hung in a California home for 60 years,” said Axel Stein, head of Latin American art at Sotheby’s. “The painting looks very fresh. It was in a dark part of the house so the colors are vibrant.”

Kahlo died at age 47 in 1954. The following year, her widower, the muralist Diego Rivera, gave the painting to a woman who had helped Kahlo in the studio, Stein said.

The recipient took the work home to California. Now in her mid-90s, she offered it to Sotheby’s this summer, Stein said.

It is among the first 20 of Kahlo’s 143 paintings. It prefigures hallmarks of the artist’s self-portraits, including winged eyebrows and the full frontal gaze and she wears a jade necklace.

In international art markets, works by Kahlo have fetched more than any other Latin American artist, said Stein.

Last May, Christie’s sold a 1939 Kahlo painting for $8 million, an auction record for her work.

One reason Kahlo works are so valued in the international market is that Mexico for several decades has barred their export to conserve the country’s cultural heritage under national laws, Stein said.

 

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