Russian billionaire takes $60M loss on Gauguin painting

Paul Gauguin “Te Fare (La Maison)” (credit: Christie’s)

Grab your tissues and gather round, for here is a sorrowful tale about a Russian billionaire and his billion dollar art collection.

Back in June 2008 Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian billionaire in question, paid €54 million (then $85 million, today $57 million) for a landscape painting by French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, reports Bloomberg.

Yesterday at Christie’s in London, he took a whopping 74 percent loss on his original investment.

The 1892 “Te Fare (La Maison)” fetched £20.3 million ($25 million), including commission, at Tuesday evening’s sale of Impressionist and modern art. Ouch. Although that was still over estimate.

The fertilizer tycoon has been unloading works from his $2 billion collection since he sued Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier — who procured the art privately for Rybolovlev — alleging he was overcharged by as much as $1 billion. Prior to Tuesday, Rybolovlev had sold three other paintings from his collection — which includes pieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso — all for a loss.


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