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Eric Clapton Selling Rare Painting Worth Up to $19 Million

Richter-Abstraktes-Bild
Gerhard Richter

British blues-rock legend Eric Clapton probably isn’t going to end up in line at a soup kitchen any time soon, even if his music career takes a significant downturn.

The former Yardbirds and Cream guitarist is getting ready to auction off a rare painting at Sotheby’s in October, and he’s expected to get somewhere between $14 million and $19 million for the piece, which he bought as part of a set of three for a mere $3.4 million in 2001.

According to Reuters, Clapton is selling off a canvas titled ‘Abstraktes Bild (809-4)’ by the German artist Gerhard Richter. The 80-year-old painter has become one of the most sought-after living artists, with one of his works fetching $21.8 million in New York City in May. ‘Abstraktes Bild (809-4)’ was one of a series of four paintings Richter created in the mid-’90s. Sotheby’s said the piece “ranks alongside the very highest tier of Richter Abstracts housed in museums internationally,” and it will be among the most coveted lots at their contemporary art evening auction in London on Oct. 12. That auction is slated to coincide with the the Frieze Art Fair, one of the biggest events in the world art market.

If you think $19 million seems a bit steep for a painting, the artist who created it agrees with you. Reuters reports that in an interview last year,  Gerhard Richter called the contemporary art market “daft,” “absurd” and “impossible to understand.”

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