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Record Sale for Impressionist Art

Jun 6th 2019

$110.7 Million Monet Painting


May 3, 2019 — a day for a record at Sotheby’s art auction. One of Claude Monet’s famous Haystacks paintings sold for more than $100 million. The total price was $110.7 million.

A wealthy Chicago socialite acquired the original painting in the 1890s from Monet’s dealer. It remained in the family’s private collection until it sold at auction in 1986 for $2.53 million. This time, six people bid on the piece, put up for auction by the present owner. It took a mere eight minutes to sell the painting.

Haystacks is the name of a series of twenty-five paintings by Claude Monet. Most of the collection is held in art museums around the world: Paris, Tokyo, Boston, and New York, to name a few. This one, acquired from a private collection, is titled “Meules,” and was painted in 1890.

Monet moved to Giverny in 1883. All his paintings from then on were scenes within two miles of his home. The Haystacks belonged to a neighboring farmer. Monet initially started painting the haystacks on two canvases. One depicting sunny conditions and another depicting overcast conditions. When he was unable to illustrate the ever-changing light moods on those two canvases, he added more. Each day, Monet would paint on whichever canvas best matched the light that day. The series of paintings were started en plein air, and later finished in his studio.

The same stack was used for each painting in this series. The set portrays the changing seasons from the end of summer to the beginning of spring. Each one shows differing light, atmosphere, time of day, weather, and seasons. They turned out to be some of Monet’s most notable art. The current auction price proved that to be true.