The “Card Players” Done By Paul Cezanne

This art work was done by Paul Cezanne and its valued at $250 million…it is called “Card Players”.Cezanne did it in a series of 5 and it is one of the most expensive artwork in the world.  What is the riddle behind the art that makes it so valuable like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci,Judgement day by Michel Angelo and Starry Night by Van Gogh? Well,don’t ask me. I hope you like it..


Before now, for years, it has being in the possession of a Greek shipping magnate called George Embiricos who owned and treasured the painting, rarely lending it. He was “entertained” but unmoved, according to one art dealer, by occasional offers for it that climbed ever higher alongside the art market in past decades. A few years ago, the painting was listed by artnews magazine as one of the world’s top artworks still in private hands.

Shortly before his death in the winter of 2011, Embiricos began discussions about its sale, which was handled by his estate. It was bought by Qatar for the sum of $250 million.

One of the most influential artists in the history of twentieth-century painting, Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) has inspired generations of modern artists. Generally, he is  categorized as a Post-Impressionist. This is because of his unique method of building form with color and his analytical approach to nature influenced the art of Cubists, Fauvists, and successive generations of avant-garde artists.

He began  to paint in 1860 in his birthplace of Aix-en-Provence and subsequently studied in Paris.

Cézanne ignores the laws of classical perspective, allowing each object to be independent within the space of a picture while the relationship of one object to another takes precedence over traditional single-point perspective.

While the three works that Cézanne exhibited in 1874 at the first Impressionist exhibition were not fully in line with the Impressionist technique of quickly placing appliqués of pigment on the canvas, he did eventually abandon his relatively dark palette in exchange for brilliant tones and began painting out-of-doors, encouraged by the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro (1830–1903). His Bathers (1976.201.12) of 1874–75 demonstrates a developed style and tonal scale in one of his first paintings of this theme, which recurs in his oeuvre.

In 1890, Cézanne began a series of five pictures of Provençal peasants playing cards. Widely celebrated as among the finest figure compositions completed by the artist, The Card Players  demonstrates his system of color gradations to build form and create a three-dimensional quality in the figures. They were created between 1890 and 1895, this quintet of oil paintings is considered a cornerstone of Cézanne’s “final period,” when he created some of his most acclaimed works. The exact chronology of The Card Players’ creation is a matter of debate.

These card players weren’t betting men. None of the five paintings show any money on the table for antes or pots. It has been speculated the quiet nature of the game combined with the lack of gambling could mean these men are enjoying a game similar to gin rummy. The men who posed for the Provencal peasants playing cards were farmhands, some of whom were employed at Cézanne’s estate.

During the five-year span in which he painted The Card Players, Cézanne created a dozen or so sketches and several painted portraits as practice for his series. The same farmhands were called on, sometimes again and again, to sit for these test studies.

Today, The Card Players are now spread around the world. Although they are sometimes reunited for shared exhibitions, The Card Players share no common home. One that features four men and a dour-looking boy is a highlight of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.


A similar piece that lacks the little boy can be found in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


One of three that portray a pair of card players is on view at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.


Another can be seen at London’s Courtauld Institute of Art,


while the last is part of a private collection belonging to the royal family of Qatar.


The Card Players now on exhibit in Paris was in the hands of bold burglars in August of 1961. It was the most famous of eight Cézanne paintings snatched from a traveling show in his hometown of Aix-en-Provence, France. Details of their recovery vary: Some sources say the paintings were returned a few months later once a ransom was paid, while others claim the whole lot was uncovered a year later in Marseille within an abandoned car.


To show the depths of the national sense of loss over Card Players’ theft,  France commemorated the heist with a  memorial stamp which was issued, creating a colorful marker for a grim event.

In 1895, the dealer Ambroise Vollard (1867–1939) held Cézanne’s first one-man exhibition at his gallery in Paris.
Although the exhibition met with some skepticism, Cézanne’s reputation as a great artist grew quickly, and he was discussed and promoted by a small circle of enthusiasts, including the art historian and critic Bernard Berenson , American painter Mary Cassatt , and collectors Henry Osborne Havemeyer  and his wife Louisine Havemeyer.

Posthumous exhibitions at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune and the Salon d’Automne in 1907 in Paris established Cézanne’s artistic legacy.



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