10 Things You Didn’t Know About David Nahmad

In this post, we will take a journey into the intriguing world of art millionaire David Nahmad. Known for his extensive collection and involvement in high-stakes art, Nahmad has carved a prominent position for himself in the global art market. But what else is there to know about this enigmatic figure? Strap up, as we delve into ten fascinating aspects about David Nahmad that you perhaps didn’t know before.

1. Avid Chess Player

Despite being better recognized for his dealings in art, David Nahmad holds a deep passion for chess. His love for the game runs so deep, it even manifests in his art collection, which features multiple works depicting the game.

His fondness towards chess led to the creation of the World Chess Championship, held in London in 2018. The match, which garnered global attention, was a testament to Nahmad’s influence and his ability to elevate the profile of the game that he loves.

2. Monaco-Based

Although born in Aleppo, Syria, before eventually moving to Milan, Italy, David Nahmad and his family now reside in Monaco. The Mediterranean city-state appeals to the affluent art patron due to its favorable tax regulations and luxurious lifestyle.

Living in Monaco also provides Nahmad accessibility to major European art cities like Paris, London, and Rome, further enriching his involvement in the international art world.

3. Started Business in the 1960s

David Nahmad embarked on his art dealings in the 1960s with his two brothers, Ezra and Joseph Nahmad. The Nahmad family initially began trading within the Italian and European art markets in a time when investing in art was still an underexplored avenue.

Today, their foresight has allowed them to build an empire, dealing in Impressionist and modernist artworks, and amassing one of the most extensive and valuable art collections in the world.

4. Owns a Mammoth Art Collection

David Nahmad’s love for art is not only demonstrated in his line of business but also in his personal collection. He is rumored to possess over 4,500 works of art, including pieces from masters like Picasso and Matisse.

The collection is estimated to be worth over $3 billion, a reflection of both Nahmad’s wealth and his eye for artistic excellence. Despite the sprawling collection, Nahmad claims only a handful of works hang in his home, with the majority stored in a Geneva warehouse.

5. Passionate About Investment

Although possessing a heartfelt love for art, David Nahmad is an unashamed and unabashed businessman. He has often noted that his primary focus is on the investment aspect of the art world.

Nahmad’s prudent acumen for art investment outlines the mix of passion and business which has powered his success. He sticks to buying works from established artists, ensuring the chance of their value appreciating over time.

6. Hit the Headlines Over a Modigliani

In what is perhaps one of the most notable incidents in his career, Nahmad made global news regarding the ownership of a Modigliani painting. It was alleged that the painting, “Seated Man with a Cane,” had been looted during World War II and Nahmad was taken to court over it.

While this incident attracted mixed attention, Nahmad stood his ground throughout, arguing that he had lawfully purchased the painting at auction.

7. Has a Penchant for Picasso

Nahmad has long professed his admiration for Pablo Picasso, and his passion is represented in his collection. While his portfolio spans various artists and eras, an impressive 300 Picasso works stand out.

This deep-rooted connection to Picasso’s work resurfaced when Nahmad decided to donate one of the artist’s paintings for a fundraising effort to combat COVID-19. The effort epitomizes Nahmad’s love for the artist and his commitment to using his art for the greater good.

8. Makes a Play for the Poker World

Proving that his interests extend beyond art and chess, Nahmad also made a foray into the world of professional poker. He has competed in various high-stakes poker tournaments, even reaching the final table at the European Poker Tour in Madrid.

While not as successful as his ventures in art, his involvement in poker showcases another facet of his personality, highlighting his inclination towards intellectual and strategy-based pursuits.

9. Suffers From Claustrophobia

As human as any of us, Nahmad also has his fears, one of which is claustrophobia. This fear of confined spaces has caused some incidents at auctions, where he had to leave before bidding due to the crowded rooms.

Even while living the high life, battles with claustrophobia underline the fact that he, too, has his struggles, adding a touch of relatability to his otherwise larger-than-life persona.

10. Philanthropic Involvements

Not just content with being an influential art dealer, Nahmad also dedicates time and resources to various philanthropic efforts. Especially in his home city of Monaco, he is known for contributing to several social causes.

Despite his massive wealth and influential status, Nahmad’s commitment to giving back to society just adds another layer of depth to this immensely interesting character.

To learn more about David Nahmad, visit these useful sites:

New York Magazine: The Posh Crooks of New York

Wikipedia: David Nahmad

ArtNews: David Nahmad on the Nahmad Family Collection