In March of this year, at the age of 95, the art historian and biographer Sir John Richardson passed away, leaving behind both a storied career defined by parsing through the life and times of Pablo Picasso, as well as a completely fabulous apartment. Before his death, Richardson was the resident of a private loft residence that encompassed the full seventh floor of 73 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, a space that was perhaps inevitably filled with artwork, furniture and various accoutrement that telegraphed the fruits of a life lavishly spent. Now, the real estate agents Jeffrey Stockwell, Alan Shaker and Jill Bernard of Compass are listing the apartment for an asking price of $7,200,000.
Within his apartment, Richardson kept many pieces of a broad and enviable art collection that included works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Lucien Freud. (Though of course Richardson’s art collection is not included in the apartment sale). Given his work as a biographer of one of the greatest and most complicated painters of all time, it makes sense that Richardson collected a great deal of artistic ephemera over the course of his life. A lauded researcher and champion gossip, Richardson spent a great deal of time ingratiating himself with the likes Picasso, Fernand Léger and Nicolas de Staël on his way to writing what would become his life’s work: the multi-volume biography A Life of Picasso.
As a person who clearly spent his life with a boundless enthusiasm for the artistic figures that surrounded him and the work that they created, Richardson’s apartment aptly reflects his hunger for innovation and new insight into the outside world. After all, there are 30 oversized windows in this residence, which must make it quite a bit easier to gaze out at 5th Avenue and think stimulating thoughts.