Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Card Players (app. $259 Million)

Artist: Paul Cézanne 
Date Painted: 1892/93 
Art Style: Oil on Canvas 
Sold To: Royal Family of Qatar 
Price (Date of Sale): $259-$320 Million (April 2011) 
Adjusted Price Today: ~ $268.1 Million 

The exact price of The Card Players (even the currency of sale) is not known, with estimates from $259 million to even $320 million. 
The Card Players is a series of oil paintings by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. Painted during Cézanne's final period in the early 1890s, there are five paintings in the series. Keep in mind though guys, the Royal Family of Qatar didn't buy the series - they bought just that one painting for ~259 million).
The series is considered by critics to be a cornerstone of Cézanne's art during the early-to-mid 1890s period, as well as a "prelude" to his final years, when he painted some of his most acclaimed work.The models for the paintings were local farmhands, some of whom worked on the Cézanne family estate, the Jas de Bouffan. Each scene is depicted as one of quiet, still concentration; the men look down at their cards rather than at each other, with the cards being perhaps their sole means of communication outside of work. One critic described the scenes as "human still life", while another speculated that the men's intense focus on their game mirrors that of the painter's absorption in his art.

No. 5, 1948 ($161.7 Million)

Artist: Jackson Pollock 
Date Painted: 1948 
Art Style: Oil on Canvas 
Sold To: David Martinez (managing partner of Fintech Advisory) 
Price (Date of Sale): $140 Million (November 2, 2006) 
Adjusted Price Today: ~ $161.7 Million 

The painting was done on an 8' × 4' sheet of fiberboard, with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top of it, forming a nest-like appearance. 
It is speculated that David Geffen (the previous owner - founder of Geffen Records and co-founder of Dreamworks SKG) sold the painting, along with two others, to raise enough funds to bid for the Los Angeles Times. 
The Stone Roses' song "Going Down", B-side of "Made of Stone", makes a comic reference to the painting: "Passion looks like a painting, Jackson Pollock's No. 5". The record's cover was a painting by guitarist John Squire in a style similar to that of Jackson Pollock.

Woman III ($158.8 Million)

Artist: Willem de Kooning 
Date Painted: 1953 Art 
Style: Oil on Canvas 
Sold To: Steven A. Cohen
Price (Date of Sale): $140 Million (November 18, 2006) 
Adjusted Price Today: ~ $ 158 Million 

Woman III is one of a series of six paintings by de Kooning done between 1951 and 1953 in which the central theme was a woman. It measures 68 by 48 1⁄2 inches (1.7 by 1.23 m). 
From late 70s to 1994 this painting was part of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection, but after the revolution in 1979, this painting could not be shown because of strict rules set by the government about the visual arts and what they depict. Shame, eh? 
The buyer, Steven A. Cohen, is an American hedge fund manager who has a net worth of 9.3 billion dollars (woah!), In November 2012, he began to be implicated in a large criminal insider trading scandal. In July 2013, SAC was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with failing to prevent insider trading. 
He is an avid art collector, and to date, Cohen has bought around $700 million worth of artwork; in 2003, the New York Times reported that in a five-year period, Cohen spent 20% of his income at art auctions.

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