One of Cezanne’s best-loved paintings has been sold for $250 Million [160 million pounds], which is the highest price ever paid for a work of art. This came to my attention when mentioned by the commentators during the Commercial Bank of Qatar Masters Golf Tournament.
The Card Players, one in a series of five works depicting French peasants playing cards, was bought by the Gulf kingdom of Qatar.
The ruling royal family beat two of the world’s top art dealers to win the masterpiece.
The price dwarfs the previous record of 89 million pounds (worth 99million pounds today) handed over for Jackson Pollock’s painting, No 5, 1948, which sold during a boom in the art market in 2006, the Daily Mail reported.
Paul Cezanne, hailed as the father of modern art, painted The Card Players in about 1893.
It is one in a series of five depictions of Provencal peasants immersed in their game. They are considered some of the French post-Impressionist’s most important works and often described as “human still life”.
While the other four are all held in major collections, including one at the Courtauld in London, the painting bought by Qatar was the last in private hands.
It had long been near the top of list of the world’s most coveted paintings but its owner, Greek tycoon George Embiricos, had always refused to part with it.
He changed his mind shortly before his death last year and it was sold in April to a mystery buyer amid rumours that it had fetched a staggering sum.
Qatar’s royal family has been quietly amassing an enormous art collection. It is now regarded as the world’s biggest contemporary art buyer.
The Cezanne is likely to be put on show in the Qatar National Museum, alongside works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Mark Rothko that have also been bought recently. (ANI)
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