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Record auction for a painting by Monet

Record auction for a painting by Monet

29/07/2020

Paintings can be a very good investment and surely that is the idea of the buyer who paid $110,747,000 for the painting auctioned by Sotheby's.

"Meules", a painting by Monet which is one of the top 10 most expensive paintings ever

It is called "Meules" and it is the painting by Monet which was sold at auction for over $110 million. This figure is a record for a French Impressionist work. 

The painting is 72 x 92 cm and is part of the Haystacks series, a series of more than 20 paintings by the famous French painter. The painting is described as a composition of dynamic and vibrant colours, made with elaborate brushstrokes. Sotheby's auctioneer precisely defines the painting as "A captivating landscape that exudes a sense of profound well-being and harmony". 

Monet painted this canvas during the winter season between 1890 and 1891, while living in Normandy, in Giverny.

"Meules", a painting that has been sold for 44 times more than the last time

"Meules" will remain in history for another reason: it has not been auctioned since 1986 and has been sold at a price 44 times higher than the last time. From what has been learnt, 6 bidders participated in the auction and tried until the end to take possession of the work.

Previously, in 1892 this painting had been sold to Bertha Honoré Palmer, consort of Potter Palmer, an extremely wealthy businessman from Chicago. Mrs. Palmer probably visited Monet's exhibition in 1891 and was so impressed with the Haystacks series that she decided to buy the work entitled "Meules" from Monet's dealer.

Chronicles report that Mrs. Palmer was a fervent admirer of the French impressionist and apparently owned a total of about 90 canvases by Monet, while the work auctioned at this record price was inherited by her son and daughter-in-law.

The seller of the work is anonymous

There is also a veil of mystery surrounding this painting, or rather around the now former owner. The seller decided to remain anonymous, but apparently bought this painting in 1986 from Christie's auction house for $2.5 million. 

This is Monet's most expensive painting, while the second most expensive is a painting belonging to the same series that was sold by Christie's in 2016 for a total of $81.4 million.

There are currently few paintings that are worth more than this canvas: "Boy with a Pipe" by Pablo Picasso ($117.6 million), "Ball at the Moulin de la Galette" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir ($127.4 million), "Portrait of Dr Gachet" by Vincent Van Gogh ($134.6 million), "Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer 1" by Gustav Klimt, "Woman III" by Willem de Kooning ($145.4 million) and "No. 5", Jackson Pollock's painting which is now worth $148.1 million.

Article by: Aurora Caraman