A Cezanne painting is now the priciest art ever auctioned in history, bought for $250 million.
Cezanne's priciest painting ever, sold to Qatar for a small fortune, has shattered records in the art world, more than doubling the highest price ever paid for a single piece of modern art.
Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne- lauded by Picasso as "the father of us all" in terms of modern art- was said to have created the last in a series of masterpieces before his death.
That painting, which the royal al-Thani family of Qatar has now acquired, is called "The Card Players," according to reports.
"250 million is a fortune," fine art appraiser Victor Weiner told Vanity Fair. "But you take any art-history course, and a Card Players is likely in it. It's a major, major image."
"The Card Players" is one of five paintings in the set, most of which is held by museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musee d'Orsay, the Courtald, and the Barnes Foundation each have one, but up until now, this last one was held by a private investor, Greek shipping mogul George Embiricos.
After Embiricos' death, the painting was snagged at an auction in 2011, but due to the secrecy surrounding the event, multiple sources are only now able to confirm the buy.
The Qatari royal family didn't buy "The Card Players" just for bragging rights, however. The oil-rich nation has been gradually making its way towards becoming the new intellectual hub of the Middle East.
Qatar is already home to the Middle East campuses of Georgetown, Texas A&M, and Northwestern University, and is the host to Al-Jazeera news agency.
In addition, the tiny country opened the Museum of Islamic Art in 2008, the Museum of Arab Art in 2010, and they have organized a Global Art Forum in March, most likely to show off their newest pricey purchase.
The previous record set at an auction for art was Picasso's "Marie-Therese" at $106 million last year.