A PORTRAIT of the muse who transformed painter Pablo Picassos life has sold for 25.2m at Sothebys auction house in London. La Lecture went to an anonymous phone buyer after six minutes of bidding. The masterpiece depicts Picassos secret lover, Marie-Therese Walter, who was 17 when Picasso, then 45, met her in Paris for the first time. Their relationship was kept secret for many years because of her age and because Picasso was married. Until La Lecture was painted, Ms Walter had only appeared in Picassos works in code with her features often embedded in the background of his paintings. It was when the picture was exhibited at a Picasso retrospective that the artists wife realised there was another woman in his life and their marriage broke up. BBC