The sale in Paris of the succession Theodora Markovitch, known as Dora Maar, from October 27 until the 29th 1998 will have caused heated passion on behalf of the amateurs for the simple reason that the personal museum of Picasso's partner between 1936 and 1944 contained of many souvenirs as well as treasures produced by the Master of modern art. These paintings and drawings always belonged to Dora Maar who never wanted to sell them. They were offered for sale at the Paris "Maison de la Chimie" by the PIASA auctioneering group. Among these which "Woman in tears" and this «Dora Maar on the beach» which were respectively estimated over 20 and 10 million FF.
Still, estimates for this sale, which is probably the last of such importance regarding Picasso, were ridiculously low and observers expected several impressive prices in view of the sentimental value and the quality of such collection. The record price for a Picasso was reached on November 1989 when the Paris Binoche auctioneering group sold the "Noces de Pierrette" of the Blue Period for 330 million FF (over US $ 60 million).
This record will probably stand after this Dora Maar sale but specialists stressed that paintings produced between 1936 and 1945 are much sought by amateurs. His major work "Guernica" represented a major stage in the career of the artist.
Drawings in this sale were estimated between US $ 1,000 and 90,000 while a black chalk, India ink and pencil coloured work representing Dora and the Minotaur carried an estimate of US $ 900,000. Oil paintings had pre-sale estimates of between US $ 500,000 and 4 million. Nevertheless, all these estimates were described as somewhat ridiculous. "Woman in Tears", of which another version is being exhibited at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, was expected to be sold well over US $ 3 million while "Dora Maar on the Beach", which has no equivalent in the world might reach a surprising bid as the name of Dora Maar is quite magic.
Dora Maar died a solitary woman at 90 in her Paris apartment of the rue de Savoie where she had kept so many treasures which bore testimony of her heated relationship with Picasso. Dozens of museums around the world have been exhibiting her charismatic face shown in many ways by Picasso, realistically or in a cubist manner and often as a woman in tears.