Monet painting sold for record $151 million at New York auction

The piece, one of 25 in the Meules series, is among the most recognisable Monet paintings. It distinguishes itself by its vibrant paint palette, dramatic diagonal brushstrokes of varying directions that meet at the centre and a unique perspective.
The piece, one of 25 in the Meules series, is among the most recognisable Monet paintings. It distinguishes itself by its vibrant paint palette, dramatic diagonal brushstrokes of varying directions that meet at the centre and a unique perspective.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - A Claude Monet painting from his celebrated "Meules" (Haystacks) series drew US$110.7 million (S$151.5 million) in New York on Tuesday (May 14) in an auction record for the French Impressionist master.

The sale at Sotheby's - the first time the work had come to auction since 1986 - fetched one of the 10 highest prices ever seen at auction.

The total, which includes fees and the commission, was more than 44 times higher than the previous record for the work.

Monet painted his 25 "Meules" compositions during the winter of 1890-1891 at his home in Giverny, in France's Normandy region.

In each piece, Monet showed the light and surroundings of the same scene as they changed at different times of day, with the varying seasons and during various types of weather.

Another painting from the series was sold in November 2016 by the Christie's auction house in New York for US$81.4 million.

The piece sold at Sotheby's is among the most immediately recognisable Monet paintings.

It distinguishes itself from others in the series by its vibrant paint palette, dramatic diagonal brushstrokes of varying directions that meet at the centre and a unique perspective with only part of the first haystack appearing in the foreground.

 

The anonymous collector who brought the painting had purchased it in 1986 at Christie's for just US$2.5 million.

The last record for a Monet painting was held in May 2018 during a Christie's sale of his "Nympheas en fleur" (Water Lilies in Bloom) for US$84.6 million.