©2011 MATTEO DE FINA

The French businessman, father of François-Henri, and father in-law to Salma Hayek, François Pinault owns Kering, the holding company for luxury goods—Gucci, Alexander McQueen, et al.—as well as Christie’s auction house. A high-school drop-out and self-made billionaire, Pinault started out in his family’s timber trade. Today, his contemporary-art collection is recognized as one of the world’s largest. It has all the names you might expect, like Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, and Urs Fischer. In 2005, he bought a palace in Venice, Palazzo Grassi, to house parts of his collection, and he is currently at work on plans to open another museum, this one in Paris, near the Louvre.

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François Pinault

Location:
Paris

Source of wealth:
Luxury goods (Kering); Auctions (Christie’s)

Collecting area:
Contemporary art

Top 200 appearance:
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Fun fact:

Pinault has collaborated on the design of his two private museums, both housed in historic buildings, with Japanese architect Tadao Ando.