Paul Gauguin’s painting has smashed the record books as the most expensive ever sold. A colorful painting, entitled “Nafea Faa Ipoipo” (When Will You Marry?), was sold to a Qatari buyer, for nearly $300 million, surpassing the $259 million Qatar also paid three years ago for Paul Cezanne’s “The Card Players.” The oil-on-canvas was produced in 1892 during Gauguin’s first visit to French Polynesia. It depicts a pair of Tahitian girls seated next to a tree.
The painting was sold by Swiss collector Rudolf Staechelin, a retired Sotheby’s executive. He has confirmed the sale, but not the purchaser, but some sources say that is believed to have been purchased by the state-financed Qatar Museums.
For nearly half a decade the painting had been on display in the Kunstmuseum in Basel as part of a number of works on loan from the Staechelin Family Trust, which includes a collection of at least 20 major Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works collected by Staechelin’s grandfather in the early 20th century.
The state-financed Qatar Museums also reportedly is the buyer of “Nafea,” which was sold by a Swiss family trust.