The painting was thought to be lost and even Lempicka’s catalogue raisonné has the whereabouts listed as “location unknown”.
Then about a year ago, Sotheby’s was contacted by the West Coast based owner of the painting who did not realize he was in possible possession of an original Lempicka until an art consultant advised him to contact the auction house.
Prior to this news, Nu Adossé I was last seen at Tamara de Lempicka’s solo exhibition at Milan’s Bottega di Poesia gallery in 1925 (see photo) before disappearing for more that 85 years.
Fast track to the present day where Sotheby’s will be offering this major work at it’s evening sale of Impressionist & Modern Art 2 May 2012 in New York where the estimate is $3/5 million.
With this being a time of unprecedented interest in Lempicka where one record quickly tops another, perhaps the final hammer price of Nu Adossé I will end up closer to le rêve which sold for $8.5 million in late 2011. The work will be shown in London prior to the sale.
All images courtesy of Sotheby’s