The Dream, painted in 1932, was the beginning of a new set of artwork by Picasso. It focused on a series of mostly nude women, tranquilly asleep. The model for the paintings, Marie-Therese, eventually became the mother of Picasso's daughter Maia. Picasso paints The Dream in bright, appealing colors, with the woman sleeping peacefully in a chair - a theme that carries through many of Pablo Picasso paintings in this time period. It's quite a contrast to his earlier work in Blue Period and Cubism paintings.
Le Rêve (The Dream in French) is a 1932 oil painting (130 × 97 cm) by Pablo Picasso, then 50 years old, portraying his 24-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. It is said to have been painted in one afternoon, on January 24, 1932. It belongs to Picasso's period of distorted depictions, with its oversimplified outlines and contrasted colors resembling early Fauvism. The erotic content of the oil painting has been noted repeatedly, with critics pointing out that Picasso painted an erect penis, presumably symbolizing his own, in the upturned face of his model.
Le Rêve was purchased for $7,000 in 1941 by Victor and Sally Ganz of New York City. This purchase began their 50-year collection of works by just five artists: Picasso, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Eva Hesse. After the Ganzes died (Victor in 1987 and Sally in 1997), their collection, including Le Rêve, was sold at Christie's auction house on November 11, 1997. Le Rêve sold for an unexpectedly high $48.4 million, at the time the sixth most expensive painting sold (tenth when taking inflation into account). The entire collection set a record for the sale of a private collection, bringing $206.5 million. The total amount paid by the Ganzes over their lifetime of collecting these pieces was around $2 million. The buyer who purchased Le Rêve at Christie's in 1997 appears to have been the Austrian-born investment fund manager Wolfgang Flöttl, who also briefly held Van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet in possession in the late 1990s. In 2001, under financial pressure, he sold Le Rêve to casino magnate Steve Wynn for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be about $60 million.
Picasso met Marie-Therese by chance, on the street. Entralled by her, he took her by the arm and introduced himself. For a long time she was his secret liaison, but in 1932 she bursted on the scene in many of his paintings. Picasso said, 'A painting comes too me from afar; who knows how far; I divined it, I saw it, I did it, but even so , the next day, I cannot see what I have done myself. How can anyone penetrate my dreams, my instincts, my desires, my thoughts, which have taken so long to develop and to see the light of day, and comprehend what I have put into it, perhaps even against my will.'
Pablo Picasso The Dream 1932 Mr and Mrs Victor W. Ganz New York The model for this extraordinary piecework was the youthful Marie Therese Walter, who became Picasso's mistress and later bore him a daughter, Maia. "The Dream" is perhaps the best-known portrait of Picasso's mistress, Marie-Therese Walter. The significance of this artwork was the curve and almost every characteristic of the subject's body is bordered by a curve. The most exhilarating new style in painting in the 1930's was Surrealism, a celebration of the illogical workings of the insensible intelligence. Picasso took an interest dream is a favourite Surrealist theme. In addition, the painting contains a hidden phallus in the upper part of the sitter's head which recurs as a hidden phallus motif in the face of the right hand figure in the drawing and a number of other hidden phallus motifs elsewhere in the composition.