Someone just spent a lot of money to buy a famous, almost 80-year old painting in Canada. A Pablo Picasso painting sold for so much money it broke Canadian records. You could actually buy a castle-like mansion in Canada for less than the painting sold for.

At an auction in Toronto on November 20, the Heffel Fine Art Auction House had a sale of 113 works of art from around the world. A Picasso painting fetched more than CA$9 million, shattering Canadian art buying records.

Picasso's Femme au chapeau, which is quite literally a woman with a hat on, was the highest-selling artwork at the auction. The oil on canvas painting from 1941 sold for CA$9,163,750.

For comparison, a castle house in Edmonton with five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a theatre, an indoor pool, a wine room, and more would cost you less than this painting would.

"We are delighted to have transformed Canada's auction market into a major international player," said David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House, in a news release.

This painting became the most valuable work done by a non-Canadian artist to ever sell at auction in Canada.

The Picasso painting made up almost half of the auction's sale total which surpassed CA$22.4 million.

Femme au chapeau depicts Picasso's famous muse and really made its mark in the art world in his first commercial show at the Kootz Gallery in New York back in 1957.

The painting was estimated to sell for between CA$8 million and CA$10 million. 

Even though almost half of Heffel's total sale was made up of major works from outside of Canada, a rare Canadian painting sold for a high amount as well.

Street, Alert Bay is a rare painting by Emily Carr, a renowned Canadian artist who was inspired by Indigenous peoples.

It was painted in 1912 after she came back to Canada from a trip to France and shows a First Nations village in B.C.

The painting sold for CA$2,401,250.

You can also get an amazing ocean-front mansion or a huge house with a wine cellar that fits 1,000 bottles of wine for less than that.

"It's an honour to showcase works by Emily Carr and Canada's other greats to a global audience, alongside world-famous names like Picasso and Joan Mitchell," said Heffel.

There's no information on who bought the Picasso painting or the Carr painting but whoever the buyers are, they now own pieces of history.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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