A Collection of Dora Maar’s Photographs Heads to Auction in Paris

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A collection of 750 never-before-seen photographs by French artist Dora Mar, lover of the museum and Pablo Picasso, will be offered for sale by her estate in Paris next month.

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Most of the photos were taken during the years he spent with Picasso and reveal his involvement in surrealism and the avant-garde, according to Artcurial, the Paris-based auction house that handled the sale.

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“While Dora Mara spent nine years of her life with Picasso, she was also successful in creating her own independent and personal work using a medium that Picasso had never adopted – photography,” says the Department of Impressionist and Modern Art at Artcurial director Bruno Joubert, said in a statement.

Mar was born in Paris in 1907, grew up in Buenos Aires, and returned to Paris in the 1920s to study art and photography. He traveled to Barcelona and London to photograph the economic aftermath of the Great Depression, and upon his return to Paris in the early 1930s opened his own photography studio on the rue Campagne-Premire.

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“Dora Maar can be seen as one of the most original photographers of his day, a true pioneer of the mid-20th century,” said Joubert.

In 1935, Mar met Picasso and the two began an affair that lasted nine years. Picasso painted many of Mara’s portraits, including the weeping woman Chain. In 1937, Marr photographed the gradual phase of construction of guernica, A famous anti-war painting was made by Picasso in the same year after the German bombing of the city in the Basque region of Spain.

Dora Maar’s painting of Guernica, a painting by Picasso

Courtesy of Artcurial

The 750 photographs, preserved by his estate since Mara’s death in 1997, explore themes including surrealism, nudity and street scenes. Artcurial said they would be divided into 400 lots, each with an original negative and modern prints exclusively for sale.

Highlighting the collection will be two of Picasso’s paintings that have remained largely unseen. One, in olive-trunk chair, taken in 1936, shows the artist sitting on an olive pedestal; in another, In your Moggins rattan armchair, taken in 1937, he sits in his Mougins rattan armchair. These two paintings are expected to sell for between €2,500 and €3,500 (US$2,682 to US$3,218) each.

The entire collection will be on display in Artcurial’s Paris galleries from June 27-28.

Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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