Paul Gauguin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo becomes most valuable work of art

Paul Gauguin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) has sold privately for around $300m according to the New York Times.

This makes it the most valuable piece of art ever sold.

Gauguin marry Qatar
Gauguin painted the work in Tahiti in 1891

The little known painting was formerly in the collection of former Sotheby's executive Rudolf Staechelin and had been on long term loan to the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland.

The buyer or buyers are thought to be members of the Qatari Royal Family, which paid $250m for Cezanne's The Card Players in 2011. The sale was announced on February 5.

Nafea Faa Ipoipo dates to 1892 and was executed on Gauguin's first trip to Tahiti. He found island life preferable to his former life in Paris and emigrated there for good in 1895.

Staechelin explained to the New York Times that he sold the piece "mainly because we got a good offer. The market is very high and who knows what it will be in 10 years.

"I always tried to keep as much together as I could, [but] over 90 percent of our assets are paintings hanging for free in the museum. It's not a healthy financial risk distribution��?For me they are family history and art. But they are also security and investments."

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