4 Feb 2012

Qatar pays highest price ever for artwork

10:18 pm on 4 February 2012

A buyer in oil-rich Qatar has bought Paul Cezanne's painting The Card Players for more than $US250 million, by far the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

Previously, a Jackson Pollock painting, Number five, 1948 - held the record, sold for $US140 million in 2006.

Vanity Fair magazine reports that only four other versions of Card Player exist - Cezanne painted them as a series in the 1890s.

They are all housed in world-class museums, including the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The one bought by Qatar is one of three that shows two men at a table playing cards.

The sale took place last year but has only just been confirmed to the magazine by multiple sources this week.