A painting of two Tahitian girls by French artist Paul Gauguin has become the world's most expensive painting after being sold for a record $300 million (AU$385 million).
The 1892 painting, Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?), was reportedly bought by Qatar to be placed in its state-run museum. However, the country is yet to confirm the purchase, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The country previously held the record for most expensive painting, after buying Paul Cezanne's Two Card Players in 2011 for £160 million (AU$311 million).
The Gauguin painting was previously owned by the Swiss Rudolf Staechelin Family Trust. Staechelin is a retired Sotheby's executive and a passionate art collector. The painting had been housed in a museum in Basel, Switzerland for the past few decades until the sale.
The sale highlights a growing trend in Qatar of acquiring Western artwork for high sums.
Qatar Museums, who reportedly bought the painting according to the New York Times, has spent more than $1 billion on prestigious pieces of work.
Philip Hoffman, chief executive of London-based consultancy organisation, the Fine Art Fund Group, said: “We’re seeing a huge amount of build-up of private wealth, and we’re seeing those people allocate funds disproportionately to art collections.
People think if they you’ll never lose money. It has become the ultimate status symbol to be surrounded by $500million or $1billion worth of art which no one else can have.”
Qatar's museum services is headed up by the sister of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
As well as the Cezanne , she also oversaw the purchase of works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Mark Rothko.
By Rory Darvin
With thanks to Billionaires Australia
Van Gogh On Dark Water Animation
This Fake Rembrandt Was Created By An Algorithm
Fore-edge Painting: Artists Hide Paintings Along The Edges Of Old Books
Insanely Realistic Pencil Drawings
Found: A Missing Paul Gauguin Painting
Royal Academy of British Art Coming To Town
Australia and the UK Battle Over Historic Paintings Of A Kangaroo And A Dingo
Finally: A Digital Home For Lost Masterpieces
America: "Painting a Nation" Exhibition in Art Gallery of NSW
Chauvet Cave Paintings: Cave Women Left Their Artistic Mark
London exhibition of Australian art holds up a mirror to our nation: more iconic images
500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art
Some Fascinating Pictures featuring Alyssa Monks
Visual Art of the Human Body by Cecelia Webber
Ronnie Wood: His Art and The Rolling Stones
The lost Van Gogh: Painting found in Norwegian attic is confirmed as priceless work by Dutch master
Market Find Turns Out To Be A Lost Faberge Egg
Charles Dellschau: Secrets of An Undiscovered Visionary Artist
Tom Pinch: Time - Lapse Portraits of Paul McCartney and John Lennon
How JMW Turner Set Painting Free
The Curious Case Of The Renaissance Cockatoo
Images On Andy Warhol’s Old Computer Discs Excite University Students
Human Ingenuity: From the Renaissance to the Age of the Internet - The Sistine Chapel
Katsushika Hokusai: Japanese Artist
Picasso's "Women of Algiers" Breaks Auction Record
Looted Treasures Open Door To The Dark Nazi Past
Long-lost Caravaggio Masterpiece Found In French Attic
Frederic Remington: The Man Who Helped Bring The West To Life
Loving Vincent: The World's First Fully Painted Film
Vincenzo Peruggia: The Man Who Stole The Mona Lisa And Made Her more Famous Than Ever
The Isleworth Mona Lisa: A Second Leonardo Masterpiece?
Optical Illusions In Art
MC Escher: An Enigma Behind an Illusion
Hidden Degas Portrait Revealed
David Bowie's Personal Art Collection Auctioned Off For $30 Million