It’s all about the Monet (sorry)


Claude Monet, NYMPHÉAS detail. Image courtesy of Sothebys

As the spring auction season comes closer both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have announced their programmes for their May Impressionist and Modern sales. Both have works by Claude Monet.

Christie’s is set to sell Monet’s ‘Les meules á giverny (Haystacks at Giverny)’ which they say is an important precursor to his major Haystacks Series, which he painted between 1890 and 1891. The oil on canvas was painted in 1885 and depicts a summertime scene of haystacks in the countryside nearby the artist’s home. It is estimated to fetch between $12 million and 18 million at the auction in New York on the evening sale on the 14th May. This will be the first time the work has been up for sale at auction.

Adrien Meyer, the international director of Impressionist & Modern art at Christie’s says “At a time of growing scarcity for legendary subjects by this great master, it is a true event to feature at auction for the very first time such a desirable painting.”

This year Christie’s have decided to change the date of their Impressionist and Modern art sales moving them from the traditional dates of the first week of May, to run in the same week as their Contemporary and Post war sales. The change of dates will cause a conflict of dates in the auction calendar because the Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale on the 14th May will clash with the Phillips Contemporary and Post War evening sale.

Sotheby’s have included six paintings by Monet expected to reach between $78 million and $110 million in total. Included within these works is ‘Nymphéas’. Painted in 1905, the painting depicts the pond in the artist’s garden. A common theme in Monet’s later work the painting is expected to fetch between $30 million and $45 million at the auction in May.

Other works by Monet included in the Sotheby’s sale are ‘Le Palais Ducal’ painted in 1908 and estimated between $15-20 million, ‘Bassin aux nymphéas, les rosiers’ painted in 1913 estimated in $18-25 million, ‘Le Chemin d’Epinay, effet de neige’ painted in 1875 estimated between $6-8 million, ‘Le Seine á Vétheuil’ painted in 1901 and estimated between $6-8 million and ‘Au Val Saint-Nicolas Près Dieppe, matin’ painted in 1897 and estimated between $3-4 million.

The previous record for Monet’s work was ‘Le bassin aux nymphéas’ another of his water lily series, which sold for $80.5 in 2008 at Christie’s June auction.

Top 3 highest selling works by Monet to date

Sale PriceDateTitle of workDate of workLocation of sale
$87.6 millionJune 24th 2008Le Bassin aux Nymphéas1919Christie's, London
$41.4 millionMay 6th 2008Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil1873Christie's, New York
$36.7 millionJune 19th 2007Nymphéas1904Sotheby’s, London