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Picasso, Monet and Gauguin under the hammer

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Picasso, Monet and Gauguin under the hammer

Picasso's Young Girl with Flower Basket
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Picasso's 'Young Girl with a Flower Basket' joins works by Monet and Gauguin in an auction at Christies which is expected to make nearly half a billion euros.

Monet's exterior of Gare Saint Lazare station should fetch around 26 million euros.

Corot's view of Venice is one of the cheaper lots priced at between four to six million euros.

Picasso's masterpiece, depicting a statuesque nude with a melancholy expression, is the star of the show with bidding expected to go as high as 97 million euros.

"This is a Picasso from 1905 so it's the beginning of the Rose Period," explains Jonathan Rendell of Christies' Americas. "I think what's really important about this picture is the first owner was Gertrude Stein. Without Gertrude Stein there would be no Picasso, no career, so Gertrude and Leo Stein owning this picture from 1905 is incredibly important for the artist."

Also up for sale is Picasso's 'Apple', painted in the middle of his cubist period as a Christmas present for American poet Stein in 1914.

Gauguin's, 'The Wave', was sold by the artist to fund his fare to Tahiti in 1891.

The paintings were all owned by billionaire philanthropists Peggy and David Rockefeller and the proceeds of the sale will go to charity.