Claude Monet Water Lilies Achieves £31m At Sotheby’s Evening Sale

Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London has achieved a total of £121,957,000 / $207,875,707 / €152,555,889 (est. £86.2-123.9m / $146.3-210.3m) this evening after fierce bidding from Asia and Russia.

Helena Newman, Sotheby’s Co-Head of Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide, said: “The tonight’s success was due to being entrusted with supreme property which we offered with reasonable estimates in a carefully curated context. At the core of the sale this evening was a significant group of works from private and estate collections which were met with great enthusiasm and drove global bidding throughout the auction, with notable participation from Asian and Russian collectors.”

The auction had a 91.3% sold by lot sell through rate with two-thirds of works sold achieved prices above their high estimate. The top lot of the evening was Claude Monet’s iconic Nymphéas (Water lilies) which sold for £31,722,500 / $54,071,001 (est. £20-30m) – the second-highest price for a work by Monet sold at auction. Instantly recognisable and revered the world over, Claude Monet’s Nymphéas are among the most iconic and celebrated paintings of turn of the century.

Piet Mondrian’s quintessential masterpiece, Composition with Red, Blue and Grey from 1927, which appeared tonight at auction for the first time, sold for £15,202,500 / $25,912,661 (est. £13-18m) – the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the artist at auction. Kept by Mondrian in his personal collection until his death in 1944, this is one of very few major works by the artist to come to market in decades

Masterpieces from the Collection of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., a group of four works brought a combined total of £20,874,000 (combined est. £17–23.5m) highlighted by two exquisite paintings by Claude Monet: Antibes, vue du plateau Notre Dame sold for £7,922,500 / $13,503,901 (est. £6-8m) and La Seine à Argenteuil sold for £8,538,500 / $14,553,873 (est. £7-10m). Best known as the long-time owner of the Buffalo Bills, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., who died earlier this year, was also a passionate collector of the highest order

Tonight’s sale included 17 works From the Estate of Jan Krugier. As with Sotheby’s London sale of works from the Jan Krugier Estate in February, the offering was 100% sold, totalling a combined £27,134,500 – over double the low estimate (est. £12.6– 18.7m). Tomorrow’s Day Sale will feature a further 32 works with a combined estimate of £1,250,000–1,725,000. This evening’s offering was led by Wassily Kandinsky’s Herbstlandshaft (Autumn Landscape) which sold for £5,570,500 / $9,494,917 (est. £3-5m)
Max Beckmann’s Stilleben mit Grammophon und Schwertlilien acheived £4,786,500 / $8,158,589 (est. £1.8-2.5m)

Other strong results were, Marc Chagall, Coq rouge dans la nuit (1944) sold for £1.9m (est. £1-1.5m) Picasso, Le Taureau (1949-50) sold for £1.8m – more than four times the high estimate (est. £250,000-350,000) Alexej von Jawlensky, Stilleben mit Hyazianthe, blauem Krug und Äpfeln (1912) sold for £602,000, over double the high estimate (£200,000-300,000) Edvard Munch, Hus i Borre (1904-5) sold for £1m (est. £600,000-800,000) and Tamara de Lempicka, Suzanne au Bain (c. 1938) sold for £2.4m (est. £1.6-2m).

Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s all rights reserved


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