At auction in November the only portrait of Frida Kahlo's sister

Going up for auction at Christie's in November is the only portrait Frida Kahlo took of her sister Cristina: a youthful work, executed before the relationship between the two sisters broke down due to Cristina's relationship with Diego Rivera, Frida's partner.

A rare painting by Frida Kahlo depicting her sister Cristina will go up for auction on Nov. 9, 2023 at Christie’s with an estimate of $8-12 million. It would be, according to the auction house, the only work by the Mexican artist depicting her younger sister, and was allegedly made by Frida Kahlo during her youthful phase. That is, at the time when Frida still had a good relationship with Cristina, a relationship that ended after Cristina began having an affair with Diego Rivera, Frida’s partner. The estimate of $8 million to $12 million makes it one of the most valuable Frida Kahlo paintings ever to go to auction.

The work belongs to the collection of collector Jerry Moss, patron of A&M Records (founded in 1962 with Herb Alpert), a major music industry entrepreneur who played a key role in launching the careers of history’s greatest music artists-Sting, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton, Cat Stevens, Carole King and many others. Moss’s art collection includes a sizable group of objects spanning a wide range of genres, from European avant-garde to Latin American art icons to contemporary masters. The top lot of the group is a Nu couché by Picasso, estimated at $10 million to $15 million.

Frida Kahlo, Portrait of her sister Cristina
Frida Kahlo, Portrait of Sister Cristina

Widow Tina Moss (husband Jerry passed away last August 16) explains that “art was always something personal to Jerry, it was related to love, beauty or the way the experience of something had touched him. The interest he had in artists and respect for their artistic creativity was at the core of who he was and what he collected. He did not want to buy something because someone had told him to. Jerry believed that one must have confidence in oneself to risk displaying one’s personal taste on one’s walls for all to see. His passionate interest, combined with a deeply rooted humility, made him special in the world of luxury. Jerry’s life, character and accomplishments make all of us who knew and loved him proud. He faced personal challenges, but rarely uttered a negative word. No matter how extraordinary his success, he never lost sight of his beginnings.”

Bonnie Brennan, president of Christie’s Americas, points out, “Jerry Moss was a deeply beloved figure in the Los Angeles community and a legendary record executive who played a pivotal role in shaping the music business as we know it. He had a singular ability to recognize artistry and foster talent, thus discovering so many of the greatest musicians of all time. This rare and unique ability was not limited to music. The works in his collection showcase masterful artists from all backgrounds, including two masterpieces by artists Tamara de Lempicka and Frida Kahlo.” Max Carter, Christie’s vice president for 20th and 21st century art, says that “Jerry Moss’s collection was like A&M Records, the historic label he co-founded with Herb Alpert: a wonderful decades-long adventure united by taste, genius and personality. Each of his portraits tells of an important and revealing love, whether Kahlo’s for her sister Cristina or Lempicka’s for her daughter Kizette.”

At auction in November the only portrait of Frida Kahlo's sister
At auction in November the only portrait of Frida Kahlo's sister

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