(The Canadian Press)

Picasso portrait expected to fetch up to $1.6 million at Heffel online auction

The catalogue also features seven works from Quebec automatiste painter Jean-Paul Riopelle,

A portrait by Pablo Picasso is among the artworks on offer at Heffel Fine Art Auction House’s virtual sale tonight.

Heffel says “Tete de femme,” an oil-on-canvas painted by Picasso in 1939, could fetch between $1.2 million and $1.6 million.

It’s one of 112 lots open for bids at the Toronto auction house’s spring sale, which was originally scheduled for May, but was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

Heffel says it’s recreating the real-time excitement of an in-person auction with its new live online bidding system. Prospective buyers can also place bids by phone, or can submit their offers before the sale starts.

Highlights include Canadian artist Alex Colville’s 1976 painting “Dog and Bridge,” which is expected to hammer down for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

A triptych from abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell will also hit the auction block with an estimated price tag of $400,000 to $600,000.

The catalogue also features seven works from Quebec automatiste painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, including the nine-foot canvas “Le reveil,” which is estimated to be worth $1 million to $1.5 million.

Heffel is also selling several works from the Group of Seven and associated artists.

Lawren Harris’s ”North Shore, Lake Superior III” was stowed away among a late Canadian-born painter’s possessions for decades, says Heffel. But after being uncovered by relatives earlier this year, the sketch is on sale for a pre-auction estimate of $125,000 to $175,000.

Among three works on offer from Emily Carr is the 1929 canvas “Forest Interior,” which has been valued at $150,000 to $200,000.

Heffel says buyers will also have a rare chance to bid on one of Yvonne Housser’s portrayals of Cobalt, Ont. The auction house pegs the painting’s pricetag at $30,000 to $50,000.

The Canadian Press

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