The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 1, 2014


The royal family of Qatar purchases Paul Cezanne's Card Players for a record $250 million
The work is one in a series of five, but until now was the only one remaining in private collection. Vanity Fair reports that William Acquavella and Larry Gagosian were outbid for Card Players, at comparable amounts rumored up to $220 million.
NEW YORK, NY.- A few days ago Vanity Fair reported that Qatar's royal family bought one of the 5 existing versions of Cezanne's 'The Card Players' for over $250 million. Forbes published today that it was Josh Baer of BaerFaxt who first broke it in 2011: the purchase of Cezanne's Card Players for $250 million from the estate of Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos.

The amount paid by the Qatari royals dwarfs that of the world's previous most expensive artwork. Jackson Pollock's No 5, 1948 was sold to an unknown buyer for £88.7 million in 2006 at the peak of the pre-recession art-buying boom.

The first mention of the card players series comes in 1891 when the writer Paul Alexis visited Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence and found the artist painting a local peasant from the farm on his estate, the Jas de Bouffan. A number of different farm workers came to sit for him over the years, often smoking their clay pipes. They included an old gardener known as le père Alexandre and Paulin Paulet, who posed as the figure seated on the left in The card players, a task for which he was paid five francs. Cézanne’s depictions of card players would prove to be one of his most ambitious projects and occupied him for several years. It resulted in five closely related canvases of different sizes showing men seated at a rustic table playing cards, including versions from The Courtauld Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée d’Orsay. Alongside these he produced a larger number of paintings of the individual farm workers who appear in the card players compositions, major examples of which will be reunited from the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, together with The Courtauld’s Man with a Pipe.

Cézanne devoted himself to his peasant card players, often repeating his compositions, striving to express the essence of these sun-beaten farm workers whom he found so compelling. Rather than posing his models as a group playing cards, Cézanne made studies of them individually and only brought them together as opponents on the canvas itself. For him, the local peasants of Aix were the human equivalent of his beloved Montaigne Sainte-Victoire that presided over the town – steadfast, unchanging and monumental. As he later put it, “I love above all else the appearance of people who have grown old without breaking with old customs”. Cézanne’s card players are not shown as rowdy drinkers and gamblers in the way that, for centuries, peasants had been depicted in rural genre paintings. Rather, they are stoical and completely absorbed in the time-honoured ritual of their game. As the famous English critic Roger Fry wrote in 1927: “It is hard to think of any design since those of the great Italian Primitives… which gives us so extraordinary a sense of monumental gravity and resistance – of something that has found its centre and can never be moved.”

The monumentality of the works epitomises Cézanne’s stated aim to produce “something solid and durable, like the art of the museums”. Appropriately, one of the first works by Cézanne to enter a museum collection was The card players, which was accepted by the Louvre in 1911, five years after the artist’s death.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Cézanne’s card player and peasant works is that their evocation of unchanging traditions was achieved by pushing the boundaries of painting in radical new directions. Cézanne painted freely and inventively, rendering his peasants through a vibrant patchwork of brushstrokes which animates the surface of the paintings. For most nineteenth-century viewers his technique would have appeared as coarse as his peasant subject matter but the card players would prove an inspiration to later generations of avant-garde artists. For Pablo Picasso, Cézanne’s peasants were a touchstone for his Cubist portraits and their example resonates throughout the twentieth century with particular homages paid to them by artists as diverse as Fernand Léger and Jeff Wall.



Today's News

February 7, 2012

The royal family of Qatar purchases Paul Cezanne's Card Players for a record $250 million

Christie's London announces full details of the long-awaited Hockney on paper sale

Guggenheim exhibition of American Avant-Garde to open at the historic Palazzo delle Esposizioni

First comprehensive study of Renoir's full-length canvases at the Frick Collection

Modern masters lead Christie's March sale of fine American paintings, drawings and sculpture

Sotheby's to sell violin by Nicolò Amati in London sale of Musical Instruments to be held in March

Contemporary artists explore the secret life of museums and their collections in new exhibition

University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography acquires the Jack Welpott Archive

American contemporary artist Michael Dweck invited to have a solo exhibition in Cuba

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that large charitable donations are on the rise

Taxter & Spengemann's Pascal Spengemann joins Marlborough Chelsea as Director

Decade of Dissent: Democracy in Action 1965-1975 at the new West Hollywood Library

Despite a well-publicized ceremony, New York Fort William Henry's skeletons not buried

Transformed Yale University Art Gallery to open in December 2012

Original Frank Miller Dark Knight cover art offered in Heritage Auctions' February event

Norton Museum presents solo exhibition of works by Tacita Dean

Irma Stern at the height of her powers, dazzles with Zanzibar masterpiece for sale at Bonhams

Philadelphia celebrates Dickens' 200th birthday

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

2.- First major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy opens at LACMA

3.- Carlo Mollino's idealized vision of the female form in new book published by Damiani/Crump

4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site