One of the early sketches of Spanish painting master Pablo Picasso is on sale at an art fair in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Exhibited by Galeri Selvin at the ArtAnkara 7th International Contemporary Art Fair and acclaimed from the first day, Pablo Picasso’s drawing on paper, depicting the Young Ladies of Avignon, was put up for sale for €34,000 (nearly $40,000).

The fair, where painting, sculpture, glass, and installation works of 107 galleries and nearly 1,000 artists from six countries take place, opened its doors to art lovers on Monday.

Picasso’s drawing on paper is exhibited by Galeri Selvin — one of the leading art galleries in Istanbul.

Selvin Cuhruk Gafuroglu, owner and curator of Gallery Selvin, said that she participated in the fair with more than 40 works and that Picasso, one of the most important works of her collection, attracted attention of art enthusiasts from the first day.

“This work of Picasso is thought to be one of the works he did in the 1930s,” Gafuroglu said.

“Picasso usually made sketches before painting. This painting is also a sketch work done with drawing ink,” she added.

“It is known that he made 900 works about The Young Ladies of Avignon,” she said. “It is one of the sketches of a work of the artist in which he depicts model girls. I bought this work from an important collector in Istanbul.”

37 years of experience

Gafuroglu, who owns two art galleries in Istanbul’s upscale neighborhood of Nisantasi and Arnavutkoy, said that she continued to open exhibitions by taking all the measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that after graduating from Ankara University’s Art History Department, she worked for two-and-a-half years in the Fine Arts Department of the National Library and recognized Turkish painting there.

Mentioning that she opened her art gallery 37 years ago, Gafuroglu said: “It is not a job to be done without loving your profession. You have to have a lot of money. Sometimes it makes you poor, too. But the excitement is very different and very nice.”

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