Monet’s ‘Meules’ Painting Sells for Record $110.7 Million

monet meules

Sotheby\'s Monet's Meules painting.

Monet’s famous “Meules” painting sold for $110.7 million. According to Sotheby’s, that’s a world record for any impressionist painting.

“New world auction record for Claude Monet and for any work of Impressionist Art. An undisputed masterpiece from his acclaimed Haystacks Series, ‘Meules’ from 1890, sells for $110.7 million at Sotheby’s New York,” Sotheby’s wrote on Twitter on May 14, 2019.

According to Art News, Claude Monet made 25 haystack paintings but only eight were in private hands. The site reports that 17 are in museums, “with six of those residing at the Art Institute of Chicago.”

“#AuctionUpdate: Claude Monet’s ‘Meules,’ the most glorious & effusive work from the artist’s famed Haystacks series, sold tonight at our Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale for $110.7 million,” Sotheby’s announced on Twitter. The buyer was not revealed. Sculptor Jeff Koons’ iconic “Rabbit” piece also went to auction on the same day, Reuters reported.

Here’s what you need to know:

Seven Bidders Dueled for the Painting

According to Sotheby’s, 7 bidders held out until the end.

“7 bidders battled for Claude Monet’s ‘Meules’ for 8 minutes before achieving its final price of $110.7 million,” the auction house wrote on Twitter. According to Sotheby’s, “Tonight’s result is 44 times the $2.53 million price ‘Meules’ achieved in its last auction appearance 33 years ago.”

Before the sale, it was predicted that the painting would sell for at least $55 million. “One of the most recognizable images in art history, Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ series has long served as an inspiration to countless artists since its creation in the early 1890s, and continues to inspire anyone who has viewed one of these canvases first hand,” said August Uribe, head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department.

In his haystack series, with Meules, Monet started to explore “varying effects of light and atmosphere on a single subject over the course of time,” said Brooke Lampley, vice chairman of Sotheby’s fine art division, to ABC News.

Halina Loft of Sotheby’s wrote that the winning bid “shatters the previous record for the highest sum ever paid for a work by Monet, signaling the enduring value and popularity of the French Impressionist master; the bid is also the record for any Impressionist work of art.”

Claude Monet’s Grainstack PaintingsA highlight of the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 16 November, Meule is to be exhibited in Hong Kong and London before going on show at Christie’s in New York. Find out more at Executed over the winter of 1890-1891, Claude Monet’s Grainstack series was the most challenging and revolutionary endeavour the…2016-10-28T13:00:02.000Z

It’s been off the market for some time. “Beyond a record-setting bid, the sale of Meules marks a pivotal moment in the artwork’s history: this is the first time the work had come to auction since 1892, when Bertha Honoré Palmer of Chicago purchased it. The wife of Potter Palmer, a Chicago businessman with a vast fortune, Mrs. Palmer had the means to invest liberally in great artworks,” wrote Loft, who added that the famous painting passed down through her children before going up for sale.

Other Monet Paintings Have Sold for Millions of Dollars

Claude Monet certainly has his fans, and other Monet paintings have sold for many millions of dollars. According to VerusArt, before Meules, the Monet painting that sold for the most money was “NYMPHÉAS EN FLEUR (WATER LILIES IN BLOOM).”

That painting was sold at Christie’s New York in 2018 for $84.6 million.

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