NEW YORK — 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.