A monumental painting by Nicolas de Stael was sold for 20 million euros at Christie’s auction on Thursday, in what could be the most paid for a painting of a football match.
It was certainly the highest price obtained for a painting by the French artist of Russian origin who died in 1955 at the age of 41.
“Parc des Princes”, painted in 1952, was estimated to be worth between 18 and 25 million euros ($20 and $27 million) and was on the market for the first time.
The piece was owned by the artist’s family and was exhibited only a handful of times.
Between 1953 to 2003 it was displayed in New York, various galleries in Paris, such as the Pompidou Centre, as well as in London and Madrid.
The painting, which features a rich array of colours from teal to bright white, depicts an international friendly match between Sweden and France in 1952 during a golden generation of French football players.
Parc des Princes is the name of a stadium that has since been replaced and now hosts the Paris Saint-Germain club.
Christie’s said the picture represents “the height of Nicolas de Stael’s art, as well as a decisive moment in the history of post-war Western art”.
Other avant-garde artists and masterpieces from the 20th century were also up for grabs at the Christie’s auction in Paris.
Works by Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, Yves Klein, Serge Poliakoff, Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet and Joan Miro were all being auctioned.