A colorful Paul Gauguin painting of two Tahitian girls has been sold for a record-breaking price.
Media reports say the French artist’s 1892 oil painting "Nafea Faa Ipoipo" ("When Will You Marry?") has sold for nearly $300 million, surpassing the $259 million Qatar paid three years ago for Paul Cezanne's "The Card Players."
The state-financed Qatar Museums also reportedly is the buyer of "Nafea," which was sold by a Swiss family trust.
Rudolf Staechelin, a Sotheby's retiree who lives in Basel and manages the Staechelin Family Trust, has confirmed the sale, but not the purchaser.
The trust owns a major collection of about 20 impressionist and post-Impressionist works of art. "Nafea" is part of the collection and has been on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel for almost 50 years. The Kunstmuseum closed its doors last week while it undergoes renovations.
Meanwhile, "Nafea" is scheduled to go on exhibit in several museums, including Washington's Phillips Collection in October.
Staechelin told The New York Times the painting’s buyer will take possession of it early next year.
Staechelin's grandfather assembled the art collection during and after World War I.