Pablo Picasso's Mougins estate in the south of France has been sold to financier Rayo Withanage, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Scepter Partners. The property, nicknamed L’Antre du Minotaure or ‘The Den of the Minotaur’ was the house in which Picasso lived with his last wife Jacqueline Roque from 1961 until the time of his death in 1973. Before Picasso and Roque, the house had a history of other famous visitors. When it was owned by the Guinness Family, Winston Churchill was a frequent visitor, often summering in Mougins.
The house saw the final years of Picasso’s intense creativity, and also the thunderous love story between him and Jacqueline Roque. She was intensely supportive of his art – almost to a fault. To allow him the space needed to concentrate, the two secluded themselves in their Mougins house, not allowing much in the way of interaction with friends and family for the final 20 years of Picasso’s life. Picasso’s art did profit from this, and the time period proved to be artistically rich.
After Picasso’s death in 1973, Roque grew depressed without her lover. She continued to dedicate herself to her late-husbands art, gifting much of his oeuvre to museums and arranging for exhibits. She also was compelled to struggle through the process of settling Picasso’s large estate across his disparate family. Sadly, Jacqueline took her own life in their Mougins home in 1986.
According to the Press Release, Picasso’s home “will be commissioned for charitable purposes by local foundations and the promotion of the arts through events from which proceeds shall be donated to causes supporting sustainable development initiatives headquartered in Monaco.”
“Picasso’s Estate Sold to Scepter Chairman Rayo Withanage.” Business Wire. 27th January, 2017. Accessed 30th January, 2017. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170127005359/en/Picasso-Estate-Sold-Scepter-Chairman-Rayo-Withanage
Russell, John. “Jacqueline Picasso Dies; Artist’s Wife and Muse.” The New York Times. October 16th, 1986. Accessed January 30, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/10/16/obituaries/jacqueline-picasso-dies-artist-s-wife-and-muse.html
Stapley-Brown, Victoria. “Picasso’s final home in France sold to financier.” The Art Newspaper. 27th January, 2017. Accessed 30th January, 2017. http://theartnewspaper.com/news/picasso-s-final-home-in-france-sold-to-financier/
United Press International. “Picasso’s Widow, 60, Kills Herself at Chateau on Riviera, Police Say.” LA Times. October 16th, 1986. Accessed January 30, 2017. http://articles.latimes.com/1986-10-16/news/mn-5636_1_jacqueline-roque