April 6, 2008

"A grey horse, apparently belonging to Lord Westmorland", signed George Stubbs. The 1786 oil is 20.5" x 29".

What could be better than finding two horse paintings by well-known British equine artists George Stubbs amd Alfred Munnings leaning against the wall of a bedroom?

How about finding them with a third painting - a work by Pablo Picasso?

The three works are to be auctioned next week and could collectively fetch about $NZ1 million, according to British-based Duke's Auctioneers.

The auction firm says finding one of the paintings would have been remarkable enough, but to uncover three at once was exceptional.

"The Irish grey mare", by Alfred Munnings.

"Entriente", by Pablo Picasso.

The oil painting by George Stubbs is of a grey horse that apparently belonging to Lord Westmorland. It is signed and dated 1786, and pre-auction estimates suggest the work could fetch £100,000.

The work by Munnings is also an oil pointing, and is of an Irish grey mare. It could fetch up to £120,000.

The Picasso is a small watercolour and ink work entitled 'Entriente' which could also fetch up to £100,000.

It shows the Spanish artist as a young man in an embrace on a bed with his lover Louise Lenoir, known as Odette. It was believed to have been painted around 1901 and 1902 when Picasso was still struggling to establish his reputation as a painter.

The three paintings were found propped against a wall in a bedroom in a house understood to belong to what has been described as an international royal family.