A $135 Picasso was the prize for one lucky ticketholder who hit the jackpot in a worldwide online charity raffle
The exquisite painting was actually worth $1 million, but a man from the United States was able to snatch it for $135 thanks to the online drawing. The Cubist artwork was purchased by an anonymous donor and donated to a charity aimed at saving the ancient city of Tyre in Lebanon.
The signed painting, titled L’Homme au Gibus or Man in the Opera Hat, was painted in 1914 and is described as a masterpiece of the Cubist artist. The charity International Association to Save Tyre said this was the first time a top-level piece of art has ever been raffled.
The charity printed up 50,000 tickets at 100 euros ($135) each for a raffle at Sotheby’s in Paris.
The winner of the $135 Picasso was Jeffrey Gonano, a 25-year-old Pennsylvania man who works for a fire protection company.
One of the tens of thousands of entrants was Olivier Picasso, grandson of famed artist Pablo Picasso.
“Buy a ticket and enjoy a double pleasure,” Olivier, whose grandmother was a mistress of the artist, told AFP. “The first one will be to help a really interesting project and the second one is, hey, maybe to get a Picasso on your wall.”
Olivier said the raffle would fit into the spirit of his grandfather’s giving nature.
“In many ways he was excited about exploration, so for sure being the first one to be in a raffle would be exciting but more seriously he was really concerned by other people’s problems,” Olivier said. “In the ’50s for example he was receiving something like 100 requests per day for money, for participations, for a gift and I’ve been told most of the requests were answered.”
The $135 Picasso painting is a fraction of what another work from the artist fetched. At an auction last year, a 1932 portrait of the iconic artist’s mistress titled Nature Morte Aux Tulipes was sold at auction for $41.5 million.