Sensual Portrait of Muse by Lovestruck Pablo Picasso Up for Auction at Sotheby’s

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PARIS (REUTERS).- A sensual 1932 portrait by Pablo Picasso of his young mistress Marie-Therese Walter which captures his romantic obsession with her went on display at Sotheby’s in Paris on Wednesday ahead of an auction next month. It was the first public showing in Europe in some 80 years of “La Lecture,” or “Reading,” an erotic and brightly colored depiction of the voluptuous Marie-Therese sleeping nude in an armchair, her head thrown back and an open book in her lap. Painted in bright yellow, green and red oils at the height of what art experts call Picasso’s “lovestruck” period, it will be the star offering at an upcoming sale of Impressionist and Modern art by Sotheby’s in London. Experts say the painting could fetch between 12 and 18 million pounds ($19 to $29 million) after another 1932 Picasso portrait of Marie-Therese, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” was sold by rival auction house Christie’s in New York for $106 mill