REPORTS have emerged that the Qatari Royal family has paid a record amount for any work of art ever sold.
Rumours began to circulate last April that
one of five versions of Paul Cézanne's The Card
Players had changed hands in a private treaty sale worth
over $250m. Last week, the New York edition of Vanity
Fair named the buyers as members of the ruling family of the
oil-rich Arab state working through dealers GPS (Giraud, Pissarro
If confirmed, the price would easily
outstrip the previous all-time high - the $140m paid in a private
deal brokered by Sotheby's in 2006 for Jackson Pollock's 1948 drip
painting No 5.
The sale was thought to have been made
shortly after the death of its late owner, the Greek shipping
magnate George Embiricos.
The auction record for a Cézanne is the $55m seen for the still
life Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier from c.1893-4, sold
at Sotheby's New York in May 1999.