Chinese movie mogul is buyer of Goldwyn family's Picasso painting

Chinese movie mogul is buyer of Goldwyn family's Picasso painting
Huayi Brothers Media Group co-founder Wang Zhongjun, second from left, has bought a Picasso painting at auction for $29.9 million. (ChinaFotoPress)

It will be moving to a different continent, but at least it's staying within the business.

The buyer of a Picasso painting that was put up for sale by the heirs of the Goldwyn movie family has turned out to be another entertainment mogul -- Wang Zhongjun, the chairman and co-founder of Huayi Brothers Media Group, one of China's largest movie companies.


Wang bought the 1948 painting, titled "Femme au chignon dans un fauteuil" ("Woman with a hairbun on a sofa"), at a Sotheby's sale in New York on Tuesday, the auction house has confirmed.

The canvas sold for $29.9 million, including the buyer's premium, beating Sotheby's estimate that it would go for around $18 million. The painting was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Sr., one of Hollywood's earliest moguls, in 1956.

In a prepared statement, Wang said, "I first fell in love with the painting and then I fell in love with its story. The Goldwyn family is legendary in our industry and in this one work, I can see not only Pablo Picasso's genius, but also Samuel Goldwyn Sr.'s creative vision."

The Goldwyn heirs are selling off 25 works from the private collection in a series of auctions in New York and London. At Tuesday's auction, a Matisse painting from the Goldwyn collection brought in $6.1 million, but its buyer hasn't been publicly revealed.

Wang -- who sometimes uses the first name Dennis -- is an avid collector of art and is believed to be one of the richest men in China. Last year, he purchased a Van Gogh painting, "Still Life, Vase With Daisies and Poppies," for $61.8 million at a Sotheby's auction.

Huayi has been expanding its global reach in recent months. In April, it closed a deal with the Burbank-based STX Entertainment,  the film and TV studio recently founded by Robert Simonds. Under the deal, the Chinese company will co-produce and co-distribute movies with STX.

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