There are unconfirmed reports that a painting by Paul Gauguin has sold for $300m (£197m), which will be the highest price ever paid for a work of art.
The sale of the 1892 oil painting, “Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?),” was confirmed by the seller, Rudolf Staechelin, 62, a retired Sotheby’s executive living in Basel, Switzerland. It is rumoured to have been purchased by a Qatari buyer. Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players”, previously considered the world’s most expensive art purchase, was sold to Qatar for $250 million in 2011.
The painting, which depicts two young Tahitian girls in colourful clothes, was completed by Gauguin during his first visit to the island, where he went to escape “everything that is artificial and conventional” in Europe.
It belonged to a valuable collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, which has been on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel for nearly a half-century. Accompanying news of the sale, however, was Mr. Staechelin’s announcement said that his family’s trust was ending its loan to the Kunstmuseum as a result of a dispute with the local canton.
Nafea Faa Ipoipo will still be on display at a special Gauguin exhibition opening this month in Basel at the Beyeler Foundation before the collection travels to the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid and the Phillips Collection in Washington. The buyer will take ownership next January, Mr. Staechelin told the The New York Times.