$140 million. That is the number that Christie's has attached to this masterpiece that is set to bring in the highest price ever paid for a painting at auction in May. The previous record was set when Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" sold at Christie's in New York for $142.4 million in 2013.

"Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O')" as the masterpiece is called, was bought by the current owner for $31.9 million in 1997. The price has quadrupled over the course of 18 years. But it isn't just any painting. It took over two months and over 100 studies to execute the painting that is considered to be the artist's single most important work on the private market.

Jussi Pylkkanen at Christie's says of the painting:

""From the auctioneer's rostrum it has become clear that the many new global collectors chasing masterpieces have been
waiting for an iconic Picasso to appear on the market. None is more iconic than Les femmes d'Alger."

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Carl Larsson

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