The Card Players by Paul Cezanne

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The Card Players by Paul Cezanne

Painting NameThe Card Players
Painter NamePaul Cezanne
Completion Date1893
Size97 × 130 cm
Current LocationPrivate collection

There are total of five version of the painting. A series, in which this painting is one of the last two versions, became the most expensive painting ever as the State of Qatar bought it from a private auction. The price is said to be $ 259 million at the time and broke the previous record of $ 140 million held by Jackson Pollock’s No. 5, 1948 sold in 2006.

This amazing monetary value surely has some other factors apart from its artistic distinctness. Reason could vary from personal interest or investment strategies. But, on the artistic side, the composition of the painting has become legendary. People are copying it in their paintings and also have followed the whole oeuvre of Paul Cezanne for further inspirational composition tricks.

The subject of the painting is simple. Two card players are focusing on their game more than anything else. They are not even looking at each other. This immersion in the game, according to some reviewers of the painting, represents Paul’s own immersion in the art of painting. Reviewers and critics find connections and meanings which normal viewer won’t be able to find in general sense. But, that’s the charm of any art-piece. Everyone looks, understands and conceives it differently. It’s like, an art-piece has as much definitions and explanations as much there are viewers available. Maybe the expensive buyers of arts find some such connections with the particular piece to buy it at insane price tag. Well, art is luxury and always will be.

The previous versions of the painting had more characters and things in the composition and varied in sizes of its canvas. The current painting is more squeezed composition, eliminating the things which were somewhat distracting for the final composition and the subject.

In this Cezanne used peasants as the models, who, at the time, would have laughed that a painting which included them would sell for a price tag which would exceed the total GDP of the 5 poorest countries by a big margin.


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