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Updated: May 2, 2012 16:15 IST

Rare Cezanne watercolour fetches $19 million

AP
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This undated file picture provided by Christie’s shows a rare watercolour study by French artist Paul Cezanne. It fetched over $19 million at a New York City auction.
AP
This undated file picture provided by Christie’s shows a rare watercolour study by French artist Paul Cezanne. It fetched over $19 million at a New York City auction.

A rare watercolour study by Paul Cezanne believed lost for nearly 60 years fetched over $19 million at a New York City auction.

Christie’s auction house says A Card Player sold on Tuesday night to a buyer who wished to remain anonymous. The price includes the buyer’s premium.

The watercolour was a study for Cezanne’s celebrated series of oil paintings titled Card Players. It was rediscovered this year in the collection of the late Dr. Heinz Eichenwald, a well-known collector from Dallas, Texas.

It shows a man in a hat and jacket seated at a table. Rendered in hues of blue and ochre, it was previously known to scholars only from a black-and-white photograph.

The French post-impressionist artist created the five-painting Card Players series between 1890 and 1896.

The preparatory study offers a rare glimpse into Cezanne’s creative process. The figure in the painting is that of Paulin Paulet, a gardener on Cezanne’s estate near Aix en Provence, France. It was last displayed at a New York gallery in 1953.

Christie’s said Eichenwald inherited the work from his father. Its presale estimate was $15 million to $20 million.

The Courtauld Gallery in London exhibited the five-painting series in 2010; the exhibition travelled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year.

Art is such a complete con. Look at the price that this silly painting has fetched at auction - is there any relation whatsoever to intrinsic value? Any half-decent painter can produce a much better piece and hope to sell it for not more than a few hundred rupees at most. Some people are making enormous amounts of money perpetrating "The Great Art Con" but have managed to keep it under wraps for this long since art has such an exclusive, rarified following. Someone should really look into the goings on in the art world.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: May 2, 2012 at 17:28 IST
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