Scottish man Dominic Currie believes he may have uncovered a previously unseen original work by Pablo Picasso. The piece, which bears a striking resemblance to the artist’s Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, wasn’t sitting in a secret vault, time capsule, or hidden location. It was rolled up in a suitcase in Currie’s attic.
Two years before her death in 2000, Currie’s mother Annette told him the true identity of his biological father, a Russian soldier named Nicolai Vladimirovich. On a trip to Poland during the Cold War, she became pregnant with his child and, knowing they could never be together, Vladimirovich offered the painting as a gift for Annette to sell.
For reasons unknown, she didn't, and the painting remained in a piece of luggage for over half a century. Currie couldn’t bear going through his mother's belongings after her death and so the work remained in the dark, until now.
“It was a bombshell,” Currie told The Scotsman. “We had thought ‘Let’s just get this to the skip, let’s do it’. We opened the case and there was some stuff, toys that I remember, that kind of thing. It was like a time capsule to the 1950s.”
The painting is now being authenticated by Christie’s in London, where another Picasso piece—Les Femmes d’Alger—sold at auction in May for $179.4 million.
An artist himself, Currie also told The Scotsman, “Would I have it on the wall? Yes, I probably would. Though I’m more a fan of Matisse.”