Paris, 4 May 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Baer Faxt first relayed the rumour, which was then taken up by the Financial Times, Art Newspaper and the website artwithoutskin. It is said that Les Joueurs de cartes by Paul Cézanne was sold in a private transaction for 259 M$.
The painting belonged to George Embiricos, a Greek billionaire who died in early 2011. According to the Baer Faxt article, the amount is in excess of 250 M$. If the report is true, this will be a new record for a work of art. Private sales are hard to verify and an indication of the opacity of the art market.
The previous record – if indeed a new record has been set – was also attained during a private sale of Klimt’s 1907 work Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which was acquired for 135 M$.
The Financial Times has been referring to the alleged transaction as a mystery, but the rumour could soon be revealed to be true. The painting by Cezanne is second on the list of the most desire art works in the world. The list was compiled by Artnews in 2003.