Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ and an Offbeat Modigliani Will Lead Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Auctions in London This Month

 June 7, 2019

Claude Monet, Nymphéas (1908). Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.


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The auction house is following up its record-setting $111 million Monet last month.

Works by Claude Monet and Amedeo Modigliani are expected to lead this month’s Impressionist and Modern art evening sale at Sotheby’s London.

The auction house is following up last month’s historic sale of Monet’s 1891 haystack canvas—which sold for $110.7 million at Sotheby’s New York, setting an auction record for Impressionist art—with a painting of Monet’s waterlilies, the series for which he is best-known.

At the June 19 sale, Monet’s Nymphéas (1908) is expected to sell for £25 million–35 million ($31.88 million–44.6 million). The dramatically cropped canvas zooms in on the flowers and the water, without showing the banks of the pond, the surrounding landscape, or the sky. This is typical of Monet’s works from 1904 to 1909, which also feature looser, less precise brushwork.

The upcoming auction will also feature a rare Modigliani painting of an anonymous boy, an uncommon subject for the artist. Titled Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur less genoux (1918), the oil painting is estimated at £16 million–24 million ($20.4 million–30.6 million).

“Monet’s Nymphéas—an iconic image of his most celebrated subject—is at the same time radical and poetic, whilst Modigliani’s deeply arresting portrait of an unnamed youth unites the personal and the archetypal,” said Helena Newman, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art department, in a statement. “These outstanding works have remained unseen for over half a century in their respective private collections.”

The Monet painting was acquired in 1932 and has been passed down through the family ever since. Two other works from the same collection, an 1885 Monet landscape of the fields around Giverny and a Camille Pissarropainting, are also included in the auction. The Modigliani canvas was purchased by a different family in 1927, and has similarly never changed hands or gone on view. (This article marks the first time that a color photograph of the work has ever been published.)

Other expected highlights of the sale include Joan Miró‘s Peinture (L’Air) (1938), estimated at £10 million–15 million ($12.75 million–19.125 million), as well as canvases by Pablo PicassoHenri MatisseMarc Chagall, and René Magritte.

Originally published by Sarah Cascone at artnet News


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