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I’ve been asked more than once, “So how much does a painting usually cost?” There is, of course, no definitive answer to this unreasonable question, but the parameters within which it might be answered have just expanded–explosively. Have you ever given an estimate as to how high a price might someday be paid for a single painting? For several decades we’ve all been raising our estimates. Are you sitting down?

An unconfirmed, but widely accepted report has it that recently one of the five Paul Cezanne “The Card Players” paintings has sold privately for $250 million! It was owned by the late Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos. Others from the set–painted late in the artist’s career–are owned by the Barnes Foundation, Courtauld Institute, Musee d’Orsay, and the Metropolitan Museum.

The reportedly sold painting measures 97 X 130 centimeters. That’s 38.3 X 51.3 inches (just right for your living room) so the price paid, if correct, equals $127,240.07 per square inch. Sorry you weren’t in on the deal.