Painted in 1955 by Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) was created as part of Picasso’s rivalry with Henri Matisse that turned into a sort of adoration. After Matisse’s death in 1954, Picasso mourned by creating 15 works in homage to Eugene Delacroix’s 1834 painting Les Femmes d’Alger, which was held in high regard by the late Matisse. The original depicted Algerian concubines in their harem and was known in the 19th century for its sexual content. In the 1950s, it hung in the Louvre where Picasso would visit it.
When asked how he felt about Delacroix, Picasso replied “That bastard. He’s really good.”
The vivid cubist masterpiece sold at Christie’s in 2015, to an uproar of cheers, applause and gasps, for a breathtaking $179,400,000