Qatar Buys Cézanne Painting for Record $250M
It's the most ever paid for an artwork
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2012 1:52 PM CST
A woman takes a cell phone photograph of 'The Card Players' 1892-96 by Paul C?zanne on February 7, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Qatar's royal family has dropped $250 million on The Card Players, part of a series of classic paintings by Paul Cézanne—more than doubling the previous record sum for an artwork purchase. The sale actually occurred last year in secret, adding a key work to Qatar's collection. "You take any art-history course, and a Card Players is likely in it," says an expert. "It’s a major, major image." But the move isn't just about great art: It's part of the country's attempt to develop into an intellectual center, Vanity Fair reports.

The painting was long in the private hands of a Greek shipping magnate. He considered deals for it just before his death, including offers of more than $220 million from major art dealers. Qatar, flush with oil cash, pounced with its $250 million bid, dwarfing the previous record of $106 million for a Picasso portrait last year. And with Christie's chairman now directing Qatar's Museums Authority, we can expect a lot more great art headed that way. Click through for a closer look at The Card Players.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Feb 5, 2012 7:12 AM CST
If you can scrape together a few cents that you don't need for your next meal, invest it in the stock of a company that sells useless luxury items.
Feb 3, 2012 6:20 PM CST
It is about time this painter was fully recognised for what he was. He was a genius. His approach to painting is still a complete mystery and he inspired everyone from Picasso to Matisse to Kirchner. His influence extends to abstract art and it is about time his work was recognised as being the very best there is.
Feb 3, 2012 4:39 PM CST
Those that have to buy taste usually have none.