Rare Cezanne watercolor fetches $19M at NY auction

Associated Press
FILE - This undated file picture provided by Christie’s shows a rare watercolor study by French artist Paul Cezanne believed lost and last seen in 1953. The rare watercolor study by Paul Cezanne believed lost for nearly 60 years fetched over $19 million at a New York City auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, File)
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FILE - This undated file picture provided by Christie’s shows a rare watercolor study by French artist …

NEW YORK (AP) — A rare watercolor study by Paul Cezanne believed lost for nearly 60 years fetched over $19 million at a New York City auction on Tuesday.

Christie's auction house said "A Card Player" sold to a buyer who wished to remain anonymous. The price included the buyer's premium.

The watercolor was a study for Cezanne's celebrated series of oil paintings titled "Card Players." It was rediscovered this year in the collection of the late Dr. Heinz Eichenwald, a well-known collector from Dallas, Texas.

It shows a man in a hat and jacket seated at a table. Rendered in hues of blue and ochre, it was previously known to scholars only from a black-and-white photograph.

The French post-impressionist artist created the five-painting "Card Players" series between 1890 and 1896.

The preparatory study offers a rare glimpse into Cezanne's creative process. The figure in the painting is that of Paulin Paulet, a gardener on Cezanne's estate near Aix en Provence, France. It was last displayed at a New York gallery in 1953.

Christie's said Eichenwald inherited the work from his father.

Its presale estimate was $15 million to $20 million.

The Courtauld Gallery in London exhibited the five-painting series in 2010; the exhibition traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year.

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Online: www.christies.com

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