Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, founded by the country’s richest man Wang Jianlin, snapped up a Picasso painting for $ 28.2 million at a Christie’s auction in New York – more than double the high-end estimate for the piece of art.
The painting, “Claude et Paloma”, a 1950 portrait of the artist’s two youngest children, was expected to fetch between $ 9 million to $ 12 million.
There were 11 international bidders for the painting, starting from $ 8 million, according to China’s official news agency Xinhua.
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“I think that its decently priced, and I’m very satisfied with it. Wanda Group wants to keep these great pieces of art. Be it locally produced Chinese art work, or Western ones, as long as they possess originality, and represent individualism, they will be considered for the collection,” Guo Qingxiang, who is in charge of Dalian Wanda’s art collection, told CNBC.
The painting is the company’s first major piece of Western artwork, Guo said, noting that Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet are among the other artists he is looking at.
The work was part of Christie’s sale of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the estate of Jan Krugier – the Geneva-based art dealer who died in 2008 – held on November 4. Sales at the evening auction totaled $ 92.5 million; however, that was well below its presale estimate range of $ 158 million and $ 224 million.
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