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Monet painting sells for record $110.7M

May 15, 2019

An iconic painting from Impressionist artist Claude Monet's "Haystacks" series has been sold for a record price at auction in New York. The former owners paid $2.53 million for the work in 1986.

A painting from Claude Monet's "Meules" series
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Sotheby's

A painting from Claude Monet's acclaimed "Haystacks" series has sold for a record $110.7 million (about €98 million) at a Sotheby's auction in New York.

The auction house said the sale of the painting titled "Meules" was a world auction record for Monet, who was known for his landscape paintings. It is also the first work of Impressionist art to cross the $100-million threshold at auction.

Seven bidders fought it out over eight minutes for "Meules" before reaching the final price.

Read more: Claude Monet, a master of color, light and shadow

A rare find

The oil on canvas was completed in 1890 and is one of only four works from the "Haystacks" series to be auctioned this century. It is one of only eight examples belonging to private owners.

The 17 others belong to museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The "Haystacks" series depicts stacks of harvested wheat belonging to Monet's neighbor in Giverny, in France's Normandy region.

The works are widely celebrated for capturing the play of light on his subject and for their influence on the Impressionist movement.

Read more: Colonial art restitution: 'The desire is not to wipe museums clean'

Sellers paid just $2.53M

Sotheby's said the painting was acquired by wealthy Chicago socialites directly from Monet's dealer in the 1890s and remained in the family until it was bought at auction in 1986 by the present sellers for $2.53 million.

Sotheby's did not provide any details on the new buyer.

The sale of 55 Impressionist and modern artworks at Sotheby's brought in just under $350 million, with the second-highest selling item, a painting by Pablo Picasso, selling for $20.7 million.

law/cmk (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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