Thursday, January 29, 2015


Christie's 2017

Painted in the immediate aftermath of the ground-breaking first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, Claude Monet’s Les Bords de la Seine au Petit-Gennevilliers (1874, estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000) focuses on the idyllic, picturesque Parisian suburb of Petit-Gennevilliers, which sat on the opposite bank of the Seine to the artist’s adopted home of Argenteuil. Working alongside Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Édouard Manet, Monet produced a string of plein-air masterpieces over the course of this summer, inspired by the area’s timeless beauty, charming historical character, and lively nautical traffic that filled this stretch of the Seine. Focusing on the play of light, and the fleeting, ephemeral movement of the sky and river, the present composition is filled with swift, loose brushstrokes that convey a sense of the speed with which the artist rendered the scene, as he quickly translated the landscape as he saw it before him directly onto his canvas.

 Christie’s 2016

On November 16, Claude Monet’s Meule (Grainstack) will be among the highlights of Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York. This important painting is recognized as one of the culminating and finest examples of Monet’s Grainstack series. Meule will be on display to the public at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries beginning November 5. In advance of the November 16 sale, Christie’s will exhibit this painting for the first time in Asia at Christie’s Hong Kong October 17-19 and then at Christie’s London October 24-25.

Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s Global President, remarked: “In recent years we have been extremely aware of the growing passion for classic Impressionist paintings amongst our leading Asian Collectors. This work is simply a masterpiece by Monet the genius of plein air painting, and we unveil it in Asia for the very first time. It is an honour to bring this great Monet to Hong Kong.”

The Grainstack series – some twenty-five canvases in all – was the most challenging and revolutionary endeavor that Monet, then fifty years old, had ever undertaken.  While he had experimented during the later 1880s with depicting a single landscape subject under different lighting and weather conditions, never before had he conceived of painting so many pictures that were differentiated almost entirely through color, touch, and atmospheric effect. The present painting is among the most formally adventurous of all the Grainstacks – part of a trio of canvases in which a single conical meule is seen close up and cropped by the painting’s edge, transcending naturalism in form and color alike.

Conor Jordan, Deputy Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art, comments: “Claude Monet’s Meule, a work of shimmering beauty, is one of the last remaining examples in private hands of the artist’s momentous series of Grainstack paintings executed over the winter of 1890-1891. A rhapsody of twilight atmosphere, Meule is rendered with a weft of jewel-like color that evokes both radiant glory of a moment and the universal qualities of the passage of time in nature.”

Monet needed only to walk out his door at Giverny, to a field known as the Clos Morin that lay just west of his home, to find his motif. He set up his easel near the boundary wall of his garden, looking west across the field toward the hills on the far bank of the Seine. There, following the harvest, local farmers piled hundreds of sheaves of bound grain stalks into tightly packed stacks, rising from fifteen to twenty feet in height and capped with thatched conical roofs. These served as storage facilities, protecting the crop from moisture and rodents until spring, when the grain could be more easily separated from the chaff. The grainstacks represented the local farmers’ livelihood – the fruits of their labors and their hopes for the future.

Monet and his art dealer Durand-Ruel exhibited fifteen Meules in May 1891 to great acclaim and by the close of 1891, all but two of the Grainstacks had left the artist’s studio. The present painting is one of five from the series that the American-based dealer Knoedler selected from the artist in September 1891, and the only one from that group to remain today in private hands.

A majority of the Grainstacks series are housed in major art museums around the world, including the Musée d'Orsay, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Scotland, while few are held in private collections. In recent years, prices for exceptional examples of Monet’s work have soared, driven by demand from collectors worldwide for masterpiece quality works by the greatest master of the Impressionist period.

The top price at auction for any Monet painting is $80.4 million for Le Bassin aux nympheas from 1919, sold at Christie’s London in June 2008 against an estimate of $35-47 million. 

Le bassin aux nymphéas by Claude Monet (1840-1926) (estimate: $25,000,000-35,000,000) leads the sale and belongs to the artist’s most popular and arguably influential series, which lent inspriation to generations of subsequent artists in the twentieth century. This work is part of a sequence of 14 paintings that Monet most likely began in the spring or summer of 1918 and finished by late 1919, when he dated and sold the canvas to the Impressionist dealer Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in 1919. It was then bought by Henri Canonne, a Parisian pharmaceutical tycoon and major collector of Impressionism in 1928. Canonne owned more than forty paintings by Monet, including seventeen canvases from the Nymphéas series. The painting has been in the present collection for 20 years.

Monet’s Au Petit-Gennevilliers (estimate: $12,000,000-18,000,000), belongs to another celebrated series from Monet’s early career, when he painted various scenes of Argenteuil in 1874. The site itself is widely linked with the birth of Impressionist painting and provided endless inspiration for Monet and the other impressionists at that time. This painting will be on the market for the first time since 1899. It was purchased by the famed American collector Henry Osborne Havemeyer in 1901 and has remained in the family ever since.

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art May 4 and 5, 2015


Claude Monet, Paysage de matin (Giverny), oil on canvas, 1888. US $6-8million

  • Paysage de matin (Giverny) is a consummate example of the luminescent landscapes completed by Monet during his distinguished middle career.
  • Monet executed these works by situating himself in the midst of the French countryside with the hopes of encapsulating the light and conditions of a summer day within his canvases. Paysage de matin is an exceptional illustration of Monet’s ability to capture the light effects of his beloved Giverny.
  • The present work is representative of Monet’s most sought after qualities, contributing to its broad global appeal.

Sotheby’s London Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale 3rd February 2015

Claude Monet, Les Peupliers à Giverny, est. £9 – 12 million / $13.8 – 18.4 million

The cover lot of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale is Claude Monet’s exquisite painting Les Peupliers à Giverny of 1887 which comes to sale from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and will be sold to benefit the Acquisitions Fund. The painting marks a highpoint in Monet’s mastery of the evanescent impressions of light and colour that had been his preoccupation over the previous two decades. It represents a pivotal moment in the artist’s career, because Les Peupliers à Giverny also looks forward to his great series paintings of the 1890s, one of the most important of which featured these same poplar trees.

Les Peupliers à Giverny has a long and distinguished provenance, having adorned not one but two of the greatest museum collections in America - both The Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. In its early years in France Les Peupliers à Giverny was acquired by the writer and politician Denys Cochin from Boussod, Valloton et Cie. in 1892. Durand-Ruel acquired it from Cochin’s collection, and exhibited it extensively throughout Europe and in the United States following which it was purchased by Martin A. Ryerson, the Chicago-based industrialist and philanthropist. Upon his death in 1932 the painting joined the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago at Ryerson’s bequest. It remained there for sixteen years when it was acquired by William B. Jaffe and his widow Evelyn (née Annenberg), who in 1951 donated the work to The Museum of Modern Art, where the painting has remained until today.

Claude Monet, Le Grand Canal, est. £20 – 30 million/ $30.6 – 45.9 million

Painted during a three-month trip to Venice in 1908 – the year of one of the first Venice Biennales - such works depicting Venice are highly sought after by collectors as they represent the peak of Monet’s career. Le Grand Canal has been exhibited around the world, most recently on loan to The National Gallery, London, for eight years (2006-2014) and previously exhibited at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, and the Royal Academy of Arts London. Prior to Sotheby’s auction on 3rd February in London, the painting will be exhibited in Taipei (7th January 2015) Hong Kong (9th-12th January 2015), New York (21st-23rd January 2015) and then London (28th January – 3rd February 2015).

Monet’s depiction of the domes of Santa Maria della Salute in Le Grand Canal, seen from the steps of the Palazzo Barbaro, highlights the development from the Old Masters’ detailed depiction of Venice and the more lavish and picturesque depictions of the 18th century. Monet’s series introduced a fresh approach that captured so finely the ever-changing splendour of light upon the city’s ancient stone walls and the water that surrounds. Monet drew upon his artistic predecessors in Venice such as Turner and Whistler, as well as his personal achievements of his own London series of paintings. Unlike Monet’s usual methods of charting the changes of time and light as the course of the day would progress, in Venice time was not to be one of the factors of variations for his motifs. It was what he called 'the envelope' - the surrounding atmospheric conditions, the famous Venetian haze - that became the principal factor of variation with these motifs.

On 19th December 1908, a few days after Monet’s return to Paris, the influential Impressionist gallerist Bernheim-Jeune acquired twenty-eight of the thirty-seven views of Venice, though Monet kept the pictures in his studio to add finishing touches. It was only in 1911 after the death of his wife Alice – with whom he had travelled to Venice - that Monet finally agreed on a date for the exhibition Claude Monet Venise at Bernheim-Jeune, which opened on 28th May 1912 and was greeted with considerable critical acclaim.

A year after the exhibition at Bernheim-Jeune Le Grand Canal was acquired by Hunt Henderson, a New Orleans-based sugar magnate. Henderson was one of the most important collectors in the American South in the first half of the 20th Century whose collection included a significant number of works by the Impressionists, including paintings and drawings by Monet, Renoir and Degas. 

Claude Monet, L’Embarcadère, est. £7.5 – 10 million / $11.5 – 15.3 million

L’Embarcadère was painted by Monet in Zaandam in Holland, where the artist lived with his family for four months over the summer of 1871. He produced a series of 25 pictures that explored several areas surrounding Zaandam, focussing his attention upon the architectural motifs of the Dutch landscape, canals, mills, and boats. Within a strong compositional framework and in a boldly inventive style, Monet’s use of colour and the areas of lively brushwork represent his attempts to evoke the atmosphere of the scene, and he includes subtle, but evocative, signifiers of the weather in the full sails of the river-boats, glistening yellow painted houses and the cool relief of the shaded river-bank.

Claude Monet, Antibes vue de la Salis , est. £5 – 7 million / $7.7 – 10.7 million

Monet’s dazzling view of the south coast of France,
Antibes vue de la Salis, is one of his most 
accomplished and brightly hued compositions of
the 1880s. He was transfixed by the brilliance of 
the light he found in Antibes and completed four 
paintings of this view shown at different times of
the day, placing a particular emphasis on the tonal
 contrast between the olive trees in the foreground 
and this distant shoreline.

This painting
 represents dawn, and is perhaps the most 
successful juxtaposition of light and shade in the
group. The canvases resulting from his trip to Antibes in 1888 are testament to Monet’s masterful reconciliation of his earlier Impressionist manner with the Mediterranean conditions of the South. Antibes vue de la Salis is one of a remarkable series of works unique within Monet’s oeuvre, and the paintings received an enthusiastic reception when they were first exhibited shortly after the artist’s return to Paris.

Claude Monet, Vase de pivoines, est. £1.2 – 1.8 million / $1.8 – 2.8 million

Monet’s approach to still life was as innovative as his painting of landscapes and he returned to painting still-lifes periodically throughout his career, executing an array of traditional subjects, the most compelling of which are his vibrant pictures of flowers, of which Vase de pivoines is an outstanding example.

Sotheby’s  Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art  7 May 2014

The Evening Sale offered three impressive canvases by Impressionist master Claude Monet, including 

Le pont japonais

which he painted at Giverny from 1918–24 (est. $12/18 million). Monet’s spectacular images of the Japanese bridge spanning the lily pond of his lush garden are among the most recognizable images of 20th century art. These pictures capture the mystique of the meticulously-landscaped environment that served as Monet’s inspiration during his later career. The present picture, which is one of the most richly painted in the series, can be seen in a photograph of the artist’s Giverny studio, where it hangs in completion among other notable examples of the artist’s late production.

Monet’s Sur la falaise à Pourville

– on offer from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, sold to benefit its acquisitions fund – was one of the first major Impressionist landscapes to arrive in the United States (est. $5/7 million). The picture was purchased shortly after its completion in 1882 by the artist’s Parisian dealer Durand-Ruel, who was instrumental in establishing Monet’s reputation throughout Europe and abroad. In 1886, the work was acquired by William H. Fuller, the director of the National Wallpaper Company and a devoted early collector of Monet’s art, who organized the first American exhibition of the artist’s paintings at the Union Club in New York in 1891. This show effectively introduced Monet to an American audience which would include some of his most important patrons.

Also in the sale:


Estimate   2,000,000 — 3,000,000  

Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in London on 23 June 2014

The  sale featured two contrasting landscapes by Claude Monet each of the highest calibre of their kind. Monet’s paintings of the river at Argenteuil from the 1870s are among the crowning achievements of Impressionist art, and La Seine à Argenteuil is an exquisite example (est. £7-10 million/ $12-17 million, pictured on the first page). Now an iconic image of the period, this painting was among the works Monet chose to exhibit in the Second Impressionist Exhibition in 1876 and has since been extensively exhibited in numerous international museums, including the San Francisco Museum. The work was first owned by the celebrated French opera singer Jean-Baptiste Faure, who was renowned as a collector of Impressionist art and at one time owned over 60 works by Monet. 

Antibes, vue du plateau Notre Dame (est. £6-8 million/ $10-13 million, pictured above) is one of Monet’s most vibrant and brilliantly hued compositions of the 1880s, depicting a dazzling view of the south coast of France. The painting is closely related to the version in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which bears the same title. Testament to the early and serious appreciation of Impressionism in the United States, the work has been part of a number of distinguished American collections from 1892, including that of Thomas Lincoln Manson, a friend of John Singer Sargent, and the Ferry family in America, before being acquired by Mr. Wilson in 1996.

Sotheby’s London forthcoming Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on Tuesday 5th February 2013 

Claude Monet, Nymphéas avec reflets de hautes herbes, 1914-17. Oil on canvas, 130 x 200cm. Estimate: 12,000,000-18,000,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's.

The sale will also offer Claude Monet’s monumental Nymphéas avec reflets de Hautes Herbes of 1914-17 (est. £12-18 million) from the artist’s most celebrated series of works.

Christie’s  Impressionist & Modern Art November 5, 2014

Port-Coton: Le Lion
oil on canvas, 1886,          $3-5 million


Le Palais Dario  by Monet was executed in 1908 during a two-month visit the artist and his wife made to Venice (est. $8/12 million). Like Whistler, Turner and Sargent before him, Monet was fascinated by Venice’s soft flickering light and majestic architecture. For the first few weeks of his time there, Monet and his wife Alice were guests of Mary Hunter at the Palazzo Barbaro. From the balcony, they could see all three of the Grand Canal palaces he was to paint during his time in Venice: Palazzo da Mula, Palazzo Contarini and the subject of this painting, Palazzo Dario. In the Venetian paintings, Monet continued to observe, as he had in the Views of the Thames completed in 1904, how light reflected off a wide stretch of water dissolves and liquefies the solid uneven surfaces of stone walls. 

Sotheby's February 2011

Claude Monet (1840-1925), Argenteuil, fin d’après-midi, 1872. Est: £3.5-4.5 million. Photo: Sotheby's
Claude Monet’s Argenteuil, fin d’après-midi, 1872 (est: £3.5-4.5 million), painted at the dawn of the Impressionist movement in the early 1870s, is one of Monet’s first major landscapes of his new home just outside of Paris. Depicting the leisure activity of the time and especially of this particular town, the present work was one of Monet’s first major compositions on the theme of boats on the water and the popular promenade of Argenteuil. Monet devoted several canvases to the subject in the early 1870s, delighting with his fellow painters in representing the symbols of progress that sprung from this period of prosperity due to advances in industry, technology and the standards of living. As was characteristic of his best Impressionist landscapes, Monet painted this work on location, setting up his easel along the river bank in order to capture the fleeting effects of light and shadow glistening on the surface of the water. Its sale coincides with the close of a dazzling exhibition of Monet’s work at the Grand Palais in Paris, which attracted record numbers of visitors and reaffirmed the artist’s towering status among the greatest painters of all times.

Sotheby’s 4 November 2009 

Claude Monet’s Clématites (est. $2.5/3.5 million) was painted in Monet's garden at Giverny in the summer of 1887, the present work belongs to a series of paintings in which flowers dominate the picture space to the exclusion of any sort of landscape or contextualizing background. In its scale and focus, the present painting prefigures the artist's later fascination with waterlilies. The single-minded concentration on leaf and petal spread out across the picture plane provides a precedent for the waterlily compositions, leading ultimately to the dissolution of form by light and color which led Monet to the limits of abstraction. 

Sotheby’s 2008 Impressionist and Modern Day Sale

 CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) 
Painted in 1874, oil on canvas 
Est: £280,000-350,000, €392,000-490,000 

Monet's Dutch landscapes constitute a fascinating and somewhat mysterious prelude to the main body of his œuvre. Monet first visited Holland in 1871, however, the brushwork of Le Binnen-Amstel, Amsterdam would suggest a later date (around 1874), meaning that Monet must have a made a second, unrecorded, trip to Amsterdam. Monet's decision to visit Holland may have had much to do with his admiration for the work of Jongkind, whose work, with its emphasis on painting in the open air, provided an inspiration to many of the earliest Impressionists. The dynamic and confident handling of the paint in this work is among the earliest manifestations of the Impressionist techniques that would become more evident in Monet's mature style. Le Binnel-Amstel, Amsterdam thus constitutes an important and rare document of the early development of Impressionism's foremost figure.

Christie's 2000

Christie's 2004


Christie's 2006



Christie's 2007




Christie's 2008


                        CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926)

                        CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926)
                        L'YERRES PRÈS DE MONTGERON



Christie's 2009


Christie's 2010

 Christie's 2011


Christie's 2012

Christie's 2013


Christie's 2014