Picasso was, by some estimates, one of the wealthiest men in the world when he died, in 1973.
In the early 1980s, after years of legal wrangling and well-publicized squabbling over the settlement of his estate, his heirs established a committee to officially authenticate his works.
“Only time will tell.”“As an operator in the Picasso market, we will follow this directive,” said Paul Gray, director of the Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago.
“So I would say that Maya will probably not be sought out as an authority at this point. the jury is still out.” When Picasso died on April 8, 1973, at age 91, he was survived by his widow, Jacqueline Roque, as well as children and grandchildren from various relationships.
The surviving heirs are Picasso’s three other children—Maya (born 1935), the daughter of Marie-Thérèse Walter, with whom the artist had a long relationship; Claude (born 1947) and Paloma (born 1949), the children of another long-time mistress, the painter and writer Françoise Gilot; and two grandchildren, Marina (born 1950) and her half-brother, Bernard (born 1959), the children of Paulo.
Maya and Claude, however, have been alternately authenticating—and occasionally challenging each other’s authentications—for years.
Of all the heirs, Maya spent the most time with Picasso.
In 1993, however, that committee was disbanded after disputes among the heirs over the authenticity of a set of drawings.
Afterward, two of the heirs—Picasso’s daughter Maya Widmaier-Picasso and son Claude Ruiz-Picasso—began issuing certificates of authenticity independent of one another.