Sunday, February 1, 2009

Willem de Kooning – Woman III

Willem de Kooning – Woman III
“Woman III” comes with a rich history. David Mr. Geffen acquired it in 1994 from a Tehran museum in a quiet trade with the help of Doris Ammann, a Zurich dealer, on the tarmac of the Vienna airport. In return, Iran obtained the remnants of a precious 16th-century painted manuscript detailing the ascension of Shah Tahmasp of Persia to the throne.

In November 2006, the painting was sold by David Geffen to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million, making it the second most expensive painting ever sold.

Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam in Holland. When he was 5 years old, his parents divorced. From then on, De Kooning was raised by his mother and stepfather.

From a young age De Kooning showed a keen interest in painting, and when he was a teenager his parents arranged for him to attend the Rotterdam Fine Arts Academy, where he studied for over 7 years.

At the age of 22, De Kooning stowed away on a ship bound to the US, settling first in New Jersey. After 3 years of working as a house painter and decorator, he had earned enough to establish a small studio in Manhattan.

Woman III is one of a series of six paintings by de Kooning done between 1951 and 1953 in which the central theme was a woman.
Willem de Kooning – Woman III
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