The Qatar royal family this week paid $250 million to secure Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players, part of a series by the famous artists.
The quarter of a billion dollar sale more than doubles the previous price for such a price which occurred last year during a secret sale. Last year’s record breaking sale of artwork came from a Picasso piece that sold for $106 million.
An art expert explained the sale to Vanity Fair:
“You take any art-history course, and a Card Players is likely in it,” while adding, “It’s a major, major image.”
Experts believe that the family purchased the work of art as they attempt to develop Qatar into an intellectual center.
This isn’t the first time The Card Players has generated interest, the painting for a long time was owned by a Greek shipping magnate who before his death had entertained bids of $220 million from several major art dealers. In the end it was Qatar’s oil cash that gulped up the piece.
More art buys are expected in the coming months and years ahead as the Qatar royal family has hired the chairman of Christie’s to find, value and purchase art for the countries increasing collection.
With that being said, I personally don’t believe that a country can simply become a cultural center by buying up and displaying a bunch of art pieces, they need to encourage the arts, inspire their artists and grow culturally from the inside out.
Do you think buying a bunch of expensive art automatically makes Qatar a culturally diverse center?