Cézanne Watercolor Surfaces in Home of Dallas Collector, Heads to Christie’s

“A Card Player” (1892-96) courtesy the New York Times and Christie's Images

One of the studies for Paul Cézanne’s “Card Players” paintings, a watercolor, recently surfaced in the home of a Dallas collector and heads to Christie’s in New York where it will go up for auction on May 1, Carol Vogel of The New York Times reports. The watercolor is estimated to sell for $15 million to $20 million. The news comes after reports that the Qatari royal family snapped up a “Card Players” painting for $250 million. Ms. Vogel is a bit circumspect about that belief, floating the possibility it may have been purchased by a Greek or a Russian collector. Read More


Morning Links: ‘Card Players’ Edition

The Met's 'Card Players,' from 1890-92. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Last night, Vanity Fair reported that the Qatari royal family purchased the last of Cézanne’s Card Players in private hands for a remarkable quarter billion dollars, perhaps the most ever paid for any single work of art. Dealers William Acquavella and Larry Gagosian are also said to have been in the hunt for the work. [Gallerist]

Marion Maneker makes a superb case that the $250 million Cézanne sale “validates recent prices paid for important works,” rather than upending the market, and points out that, if Messrs. Acquavella and Gagosian were angling for the painting at $220 million, it means they likely believed more than one buyer existed at a higher price point, since buying a painting to flip to a single buyer would have been a risky proposition. [Art Market Monitor]

The other four Card Players paintings are in the collections of the Courtauld Gallery in London, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Barnes Foundation, soon to be in Philadelphia, and our very own Metropolitan Museum of Art, which hosted an exhibition of the four museum-held works last year. Read More

Serious Collecting

Report: Qatari Royals Paid $250 M. for Storied Cézanne ‘Card Players’

Quarter billion.

For quite a while, modern art dealers have been whispering that the Cézanne Card Players (circa 1895) painting long owned by the late Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos had been sold for a princely sum, perhaps a total so large that it would be a new record for the sale of any single artwork, public or private, ever. Now Vanity Fair has published details of that rumored sale, naming a pricetag—$250 million—and a buyer—the Qatari royal family. Read More