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Rarely seen Cezanne work back in the spotlight

March 28, 2012 | 10:38 am

  Cezanne

A work by Paul Cezanne that has been in virtual hiding for nearly 60 years is back in the spotlight, heading to auction this year, where it is expected to bring in as much as $20 million. The watercolor, titled "A Card Player," had been assumed to exist, but scholars didn't know where the piece was.

It turns out the work had been residing in the collection of Texas physician Heinz F. Eichenwald, according to reports. Eichenwald, who was born in Germany and came to the U.S. at a young age, died last year at 85. The work will hit the auction block at Christie's in May.

The watercolor was a study for Cezanne's "Card Players" series. It shows a single card player wearing a hat and jacket and seated at a table. The subject is believed to be Paulin Paulet, a gardener on the artist's family estate near Aix-en-Provence, according to the New York Times.

A painting from the famous series was purchased earlier this year for a record $250 million by the royal family of Qatar.

The newly rediscovered work was last seen in public in 1953 at an exhibition at Fine Arts Associates, a New York gallery, the New York Times reported.

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-- David Ng

Photo: A detail of a rare watercolor study by French artist Paul Cezanne that is heading for auction. Credit: Associated Press

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