Claude Monet painting from famed Water Lilies series to go under hammer for around £29m
Written by Hitmix News on 19 April 2021
A “monumental” painting by Claude Monet from his celebrated and famed Water Lilies series is to go on sale at auction in New York for around $40m (£29m).
Le Bassin aux Nympheas is “among the most iconic and celebrated Impressionist images”, according to Sotheby’s.
The 40in x 79in work was painted from 1917-19 and will be part of the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 12 May.
Before that it will go on view in Taipei, Taiwan, on 26 April and will return to Sotheby’s in the US city for exhibition by appointment from 1 May.
The piece is part of the Grandes Decorations series of paintings depicting Monet’s water lily pond at Giverny, France, which he began in 1914.
The series was ground-breaking in its nearly abstract treatment of the pond water’s surface and its reflections.
It took Monet’s paintings of the tranquil lily pond in a radical new direction, and the works were twice the size of his earlier Water Lilies.
The late works are considered an important bridge between Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism, as practised several generations later by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
Julian Dawes, from Sotheby’s New York, said: “Claude Monet is among the most well-known and beloved artists of all time, and Le Bassin aux Nympheas represents a quintessential example from his celebrated and famed Water Lilies series.
“Sotheby’s has an exceptional history as the house for Monet, including holding the artist’s record at auction from our sale of Meules in 2019 for $110m.
“And we are extremely excited to bring such an illustrious picture to market for the first time in nearly two decades.
He added: “As a remarkable example of Monet’s late period works from his cherished home at Giverny, this monumental painting beautifully encapsulates how Monet’s oeuvre evolved over time from his Impressionist breakthroughs to a more abstract focus with his preoccupation of his pond and water lilies.
“From this perspective, this work opens a whole new window on to how Monet would influence later generations of artists who expanded on his radical concepts into full abstraction, and set the stage for a new artistic movement that would take the world by storm.
“After remaining largely absent from the very top end of the market in 2020, we are thrilled to see Monet take centre stage once again through this exceptional painting in our May Evening Sale.”