Picasso's Complicated Legacy and Family Drama
“When the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso died of a heart attack on April 8, 1973, he left behind not only a huge artistic oeuvre of 50,000 works, but enough family drama to cover several generations.”
The great artist was also known for the many women he was involved with, but he only married two of them, says a recent article that asks “Who are Picasso’s heirs? Auction at Sotheby’s reignites dispute,” appearing in The Wealth Advisor. Officially, there is only one legitimate heir to Picasso’s vast estate, but that wasn’t settled until after his death.
The Battle for Picasso's Inheritance
The Consequences of Picasso's Lack of Estate Planning
The Division and Dispute Over Picasso's Estate
The Picasso Museum and Inheritance Tax
The entire estate was estimated to be worth 3.75 billion francs, including $1.3 million in gold, $45 million in cash and a personal art collection valued at 1.4 billion francs. The collection included many pieces created by friends like Matisse, Miro and Cezanne.
One of the many problems he left for his heirs: an inheritance tax of several million francs on his property. To pay his taxes, 3,800 artworks became state property and instead of belonging to his heirs, they are now in the Picasso Museum in Paris. The museum has the largest collection of Picasso’s work. However, that might not have been his or his heirs’ intention.
Marina Ruiz-Picasso: Sole Heir and Her Struggles
Picasso’s granddaughter, the daughter of his eldest son Paolo and the only surviving relative by marriage, Marina Ruiz-Picasso, said that the state took a large selection of artwork, and the rest was raffled off to the individual heirs like a lottery.
She wrote a book about being his granddaughter, and it was not flattering. She said that his father’s work “demanded human sacrifices.” Needless to say, she had a difficult relationship with her famous grandfather. For many years, she left his artwork untouched in storage. However, in recent years, she has auctioned off many paintings and drawings, earning millions from the sales.
Auctions of Picasso's Artwork by His Heir
Recent Sales and Sotheby's Auction
Marina Ruiz-Picasso's Life and Wealth
An online auction of more than 200 pieces, including drawings, paintings and gold medallions, took place in mid-June at Sotheby’s. Marina Ruiz-Picasso is one of the wealthiest women in Switzerland and lives in a villa on Lake Geneva.
Reference: The Wealth Advisor (June 16, 2020) “Who are Picasso’s heirs? Auction at Sotheby’s reignites dispute”
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