The Who2 Blog

The World’s Most Expensive Painting

The world’s most expensive painting is The Card Players, by Paul Cézanne. It sold in late 2011 for an estimated $250 million.

“The Father of Modern Art,” Paul Cézanne, painted The Card Players around 1895. The painting in question is thought to be the last in a series of five paintings, depicting average fellows (peasants) in a cafe.

The other four are secure in some of the finest museum collections in the world — this last is the only one in private hands. Vanity Fair has the inside dope on the sale — as much as is known about it.

And Forbes has some good background on the painting and the Qatar royal family who paid for it.

Maybe it’s important to point out that this $250 million painting was a private sale. Last year the record was set for a painting at auction — $106 million for a Picasso — but private sales are a different matter. Even the $250 million is only a guess. Depending on when the sale actually took place, the experts say the real dollar value could be about $300 million.

By all accounts, that’s way more than previous records for private sales.

What’s $250 million? It’s enough to buy solid gold neck pillows for each member of the New York Giants — including the players on the injured reserved list — and still have enough to fly the entire team to San Diego for pizzas and soda. Keep in mind that a solid gold neck pillow could weigh as much as 60 kilos, depending on the design.

Ah, you say, but the Cézanne will only increase in value, where as solid gold neck pillows will go out of fashion by the end of this month! That’s an excellent point I am making on your behalf, just before I dismiss it gracelessly.

If you’d rather, think of $250 million as how much you could have spent to have ten years of Albert Pujols swinging a basball bat.

By the way, if you find yourself thinking The Card Players isn’t much of a painting, remember what today’s card players look like:

Yeah. It’d be worth $250 million to me to not see card players wearing sunglasses all the time. But I’m no art critic.

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