German Billionaire Reinhold Wuerth is very eager for the world to know that he spent more than €50m on a Holbein painting. Wuerth’s collection is more than 14,000 works of art encompassing artists like Anish Kapoor and Henry Moore to Picasso and Max Beckmann, according to Bloomberg:
Wuerth purchased the painting from the heirs of the princes and landgraves of the state of Hesse, an aristocratic family descended from Charlemagne, according to an e-mailed statement sent today by Britta Fischer Public Relations on behalf of the Wuerth Collection. TheStaedel Museum, where the Holbein has hung on loan since 2003, said in a separate statement that its own final offer of 40 million euros ($57 million) was rejected.
Christoph Graf Douglas, the art dealer who negotiated the sale, said the price was more than 50 million euros, the highest ever paid for an artwork in Germany. He declined to name the final sum because of an agreement between the buyer and sellers.
“It is the most important painting sold in Germany since World War II,” Graf Douglas said by telephone from Frankfurt. “I had other willing buyers but they wanted to take it out of Germany, which wasn’t allowed. I could probably have sold it for more than 100 million euros if it wasn’t barred from export.”
Interested buyers included the J. Paul Getty Museum, he said.