NEW YORK—Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid €54 million (then $85 million) for a landscape by Paul Gauguin in a private transaction in June 2008. On Tuesday, he took a 74 per cent loss on his investment.
Gauguin’s 1892 landscape Te Fare (La maison) fetched ₤20.3 million ($33.5 million), including commission, at Tuesday evening’s sale of Impressionist and modern art at Christie’s in London. Rybolovlev will net about $29 million based on the hammer price. The auction house had estimated the value at $20 million to $29.8 million. The buyer was a client of Rebecca Wei, president of Christie’s Asia.
Rybolovlev — with a fortune of about $13 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — invested about $2.7 billion in 38 works, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. They were procured privately by Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, known for creating a network of tax-free art storage warehouses in Singapore and Luxembourg.
The Gauguin was one of four Rybolovlev pieces offered for sale on Tuesday.
The art industry is closely watching the London auctions running this week and next as the year’s first test of the global market following a significant contraction in 2016. Christie’s sales fell 17 per cent to ₤4 billion ($6.6 billion) last year, while Sotheby’s reported a 27 per cent decline to $6.5 billion. Both houses saw steep declines in their two biggest categories: Impressionist and modern art, and postwar and contemporary art.
Christie’s is targeting as much as ₤287.2 million in its series of 20th century art that runs through March 10.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.